The four faces of Baltimore geography

November 28, 1994|By Ed Gunts

The proposed geography museum at the top of the World Trade Center in the Inner Harbor would include four galleries. The plan calls for each to examine an aspect of Baltimore's geography, including:

ad,.350l * Community Connections: "Birth of an American City." The first gallery will contain a theater that provides an introduction to Baltimore, explaining how geography, resources and commerce led to its founding.

A large bas relief map will depict Baltimore as it was in the 19th century, when its neighborhoods were essentially individual cities. At the touch of a button, the map will dissolve into present-day Baltimore, a city of neighborhoods.

This gallery will be on the east side of the building, featuring views of Little Italy and other Eastside neighborhoods.

* National Connections: "Gateway to the Nation." A short film will outline reasons for Baltimore's early rise to national prominence -- including its position as the port that is farthest inland on the Atlantic seaboard, its proximity to Washington, and its heritage as a center for shipping, railroading and other activities pivotal to America's growth.

The presentation will be supplemented by an extensive collection of model locomotives and skipjacks.

The corresponding views will feature the Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry, the Francis Scott Key Bridge and the bay beyond.

* International Connections: "Returning the Gift": This gallery will focus on Baltimore's emergence as a force in international affairs, through links that facilitate the flow of people, freight and ideas.

Besides tracking contributions made by Maryland-based companies and institutions, from McCormick & Co. to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, displays will highlight Baltimore's sister cities and the home towns of the 2,000 international firms that do business with Baltimore.

The view features Federal Hill and South Baltimore.

* Universal Connections: "The Stars and Beyond": The final gallery will explain how Baltimore is positioning itself for the 21st century, in frontiers ranging from genetic research to marine biotechnology.

Exhibits will highlight the work of local organizations such as the Johns Hopkins University, Westinghouse, the Columbus Center, and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The view includes Camden Yards, the University of Maryland's downtown campus, and the proposed site of the International Life Sciences Center.

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