Mount Vernon, Baltimore, MD, USA
The First Washington MonumentAlmost everyone knows of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. but Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood will always hold the distinction of having the first civic memorial to George Washington in the United States. The 178-foot structure was designed by Robert Mills starting in 1815 and was completed in 1829 (Mills later designed D.C.'s counterpart starting construction in 1848 and was fully completed in 1884).
Across the Monument and along Charles Street rests an area once dominated by the city's wealthy Gilded Age-era elite. A large number of the former grandiose mansions are now occupied by museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants like the Peabody Conservatory, the Walters Art Museum, and the Maryland Historical Society that truly make it Baltimore's cultural heart.