Historic Davidge gets its due Landmark: Davidge Hall, the oldest medical school building in continuous use in the United States, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Urban Landscape

October 16, 1997|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

The oldest building on the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, Davidge Hall, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

The U.S. Department of the Interior last month added the Greek Revival-style building at 522 W. Lombard St. to its landmark list because of the building's significance in the history of medicine and architecture.

Designations are reserved for properties that have been judged by the Interior secretary to have "national significance." About 2,000 properties around the nation have that status.

Built in 1812, Davidge Hall is the oldest medical school building in continuous use in the United States.

It was modeled after the anatomical halls of Europe and contains one of the oldest surviving anatomical instruction theaters in the country.

"For more than two centuries, Maryland has played a very important role in the development of medical science in this country," said U.S. Rep. Benjamin Cardin, a 3rd District Democrat.

The designation of Davidge Hall "illustrates the historic role of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the history of medicine," he said.

The building is named after John B. Davidge, founder and first dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Its low, domed roof was modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, and its south portico echoes the geometry of the Parthenon in Athens.

For years, scholars said the building was designed by a Baltimorean, Robert Cary Long Sr. Last year, architects John G. Waite and Clay Palazzo said their research indicated that Davidge might have been designed by the French architect Maximilian Godefroy and that Long might have been the builder.

Campus administrators want to restore Davidge for continued use in medical education and as a building that can be promoted as a historical attraction. The work could cost several million dollars, and the landmark designation could help make the building eligible for funding assistance.

Waterfront Center is meeting in Baltimore

More than 250 planners, architects, developers and public officials from 30 states and eight foreign countries are in Baltimore this week to attend the 15th annual conference of The Waterfront Center, an organization to help communities make the best possible use of their waterfronts.

The Lord Baltimore-Hilton Hotel and Towers, 20 W. Baltimore St., is the center of activity for the conference, which runs through Saturday.

One highlight will be a presentation of the work of noted photographer Bruce Davidson at the hotel at 11: 30 a.m. Saturday.

Davidson will offer a brief retrospective of his career from 1958 to the present, with emphasis on a current project that surveys New York City's harbor. He will also sign copies of his latest book, "Central Park."

Davidson's talk is free and open to the public.

Oct. 29 discussion planned on 'Baltimore Renaissance'

"Baltimore Renaissance: Fact or Fiction?" is the title of a panel discussion that the Roland Park Country Evening School is presenting at 8 p.m. Oct. 29 on its campus, 5204 Roland Ave.

Panelists will include M. Jay Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp.; David Cordish, president of the Cordish Co., developer of the Power Plant; Rebecca Hoffberger, founder of the American Visionary Art Museum; Ioanna Morfessis, director of the Greater Baltimore Alliance; and C. William Struever, president of Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse.

Marc Steiner, host of "The Marc Steiner Show" on WJHU, will be the moderator.

Admission is $10. To make reservations, call the school at 410-323-5500.

Bolton Hill walking tour will be held Saturday

The Baltimore Architecture Foundation is sponsoring a walking tour of Baltimore's historic Bolton Hill neighborhood at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bolton Street and Lafayette Avenue.

Conducted by Doug Kelso, an architect and longtime Bolton Hill resident, the two-hour tour will coincide with the neighborhood's annual Festival on the Hill. The tour costs $5 for foundation members and $10 for others. The festival is free.

The foundation also offers monthly walking tours of the Mount Vernon historic district, starting at 10 a.m. at the Washington Monument on the first Saturday of each month, and of Federal Hill and the Inner Harbor, starting at 10 a.m. at the top of Federal Hill on the second Saturday of each month.

Neal Peirce, columnist on urban affairs, to speak

Syndicated urban affairs columnist Neal R. Peirce will be the guest speaker for a Community Law Center fund-raiser at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion, 11 W. Mount Vernon Place, on Oct. 28. The event will begin with a reception at 5: 30 p.m. and will include a tribute to the Hoffberger family of Baltimore.

Ticket information: 410-366-0922.

Pub Date: 10/16/97

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