In this Virtual Histories Series, the Baltimore Architecture Foundation (BAF) and Baltimore Heritage host weekly 30-minute lunchtime presentations on Zoom focusing on Baltimore architecture, preservation, and history. Attendees have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter(s). Upon registering, you will receive an email confirmation and a Zoom link. If you do not receive a link, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at least 1-hour prior to the start of the program, or admittance cannot be guaranteed.
This presentation is also co-hosted by the Maryland Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Friends of Patterson Park, and the Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes (FMOPL) as part of Olmsted 200 celebration of the Bicentennial of Frederick Law Olmsted Sr’s birth. Reservations are donation-based. Please give what you can to support BAF, Baltimore Heritage, and FMOPL. Your support helps ALL three non-profit organizations make up for lost tour and program revenue from COVID-19 and create future programs of interest.
Patterson Park is an urban oasis – a beloved green space surrounded by brick rowhouses, diverse cultures and neighborhoods. Generations of Baltimoreans have picnicked under its tall tulip poplars, strolled the deeply curved paths and enjoyed the rich architectural design of this 137-acre East Baltimore park.
This presentation will touch on the park’s history, from its earliest beginnings as a 6-acre “Public Walk” donated to the city by William Patterson in April 1827, to its growth and development under the guiding hands of George A. Frederick, designer of City Hall, who served as Park Architect from 1863 to 1895, and of Charles H. Latrobe, who served as Engineer and General Superintendent of Parks from 1884 to 1902. Both were responsible for such impressive structures as the iconic Patterson Park Pagoda, a 60-foot tall Observatory built at top Hampstead Hill for its incredible views of the harbor and the city.
In 1904, the Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects were hired to prepare a plan for the Eastern extension of the park. Their 1904 “Report Upon the Development of Public Grounds for Greater Baltimore” had urged for an expansion of the park to “offer the working people of East Baltimore a conveniently accessible body of refreshing scenery, retired to a great degree from the turmoil of the city.” The firm, founded by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park, and continued by his sons, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and John Charles, were the leading park architects of the day and continued to enhance the park’s design through 1915.
In Patterson Park, one can see the two sides of the Olmsted vision: the pastoral vistas and sweeping hills championed by the senior Olmsted and carried on by his sons, as well as the recognition by the younger Olmsteds of the features required by the active recreation movement of the period. The role of Patterson Park in creating social cohesiveness and quality of life is still paramount, nearly two centuries from its humble beginnings. This presentation will feature fascinating insights and rich historical imagery of this Jewel of Baltimore’s Eastside.
Tim Almaguer has been hiking through, learning from and working with urban parks for over 20 years, first with the Friends of Patterson Park for over 10 years and now as the Chief of Community Engagement and Strategic Partnership at Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. Tim received a Master degree in Recreation and Parks Management from Frostburg State University and wrote “Baltimore’s Patterson Park” in 2006, published by Arcadia Publishing.