Mount Vernon Place Conservancy

A mission to restore, maintain, and manage Baltimore’s Washington Monument and the surrounding squares of Mount Vernon Place.

The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy is a non-profit organization with the mission to restore, maintain, and manage Baltimore’s Washington Monument and the surrounding squares of Mount Vernon Place through a public-private partnership with the City of Baltimore. The Conservancy operates the Washington Monument, providing access and information about the site to visitors year-round. It presents free cultural programming in the park squares, including a summer concert and film series, arts and fitness classes, and large-scale festivals like the City’s annual Flower Mart and holiday Monument Lighting. As part of its partnership agreement with the City, the Conservancy provides additional maintenance for the gardens, lawns, and fountains, works with various city departments to address other park needs, and reviews permits for park use.

Vision for the Future

With the restoration of the Washington Monument completed, the Conservancy is now turning its focus to the four park squares of Mount Vernon Place.

One of the main goals when devising OLIN’s Master Plan (see summary) was to look at the park as a cohesive whole; not a series of streets, sidewalks, gardens, and statues, but a unified urban space that needs modern upgrades to become a more attractive, safer, accessible, and sustainable “place.”

With a team of civil engineers, arborists, stone conservation experts, and public space management specialists, OLIN’s plan looks at Mount Vernon Place holistically and addresses the needs of a modern urban park; needs that were not considered when the park was designed a century ago.

Below ground, the plan addresses outdated infrastructure, new soils to resist compaction and retain stormwater, and added irrigation systems. Above ground, new flowers, shrubs, and trees have been specifically chosen for an urban environment, allowing them to thrive into the future without compromising existing utilities and hardscapes. Historic stone elements will be preserved and restored, and accessibility and pedestrian safety tremendously increased with the addition of sidewalks and curb cuts on the perimeter of the squares.

More detailed plans have been created for the North and South Squares that adhere to the principals laid out in the approved Master Plan. An exciting look at how these squares might appear is available in our latest educational VIDEO.

The Conservancy leadership is dedicated to completing this restoration of Mount Vernon Place, reestablishing this historic space in Baltimore, and ensuring its vitality for the next century.

South-Rendering2
the-conservancy

Conservancy History

In 2008 a group of Baltimore residents established the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy. One of the pressing needs for the formation of the Conservancy was the then poor conditions of the Washington Monument and the surrounding park squares. The Monument was approaching its 200th anniversary, and the park squares in their current design were almost 100 years old. At the time the Conservancy was formed it was clear that not only were plans needed to restore and revitalize these features, but significant funding would be needed to accomplish the work.

By 2010, the Washington Monument was closed to visitors by the City of Baltimore due to dangerous conditions. Shortly after, a car accident caused severe damage to sections of the iron fencing around the monument. Having secured funding to begin planning, the Conservancy hired internationally renowned landscape architects, OLIN partners in Philadelphia to develop a Master Plan for the restoration and revitalization of Mount Vernon Place. This plan was guided by extensive research into the historic design of the Monument and the existing design of the squares by Carrère & Hastings.

The City’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP), in conjunction with other City departments, approved the concepts of the Master Plan in 2011, and specifically approved the more detailed plans for the Washington Monument and the North and South Squares as presented. As further more detailed plans were developed, the Conservancy would need to return to CHAP for final approval.

After entering into its 2012 partnership agreement with the City of Baltimore, the Conservancy completed the first phase of revitalization, and restored the Washington Monument in 2014-15. The $7 million breath-taking restoration garnered an unprecedented 14 awards from the local, state, and national organizations in the design, construction, and restoration fields. Since reopening the Monument, over 100,000 guests have visited, and over 40,000 have climbed the 227 steps to take in the impressive view. These visitors come from all over the nation and world—as they have since the Monument was built. The restoration, and its many discoveries, was documented in a series of brief videos that can be viewed HERE.

Contact the Conservancy

Our Staff

Lance Humphries, Ph.D. Executive Director

Paul Wissman Associate Manager

George Chang Site Manager

Officers

Henry H. Hopkins

President
Retired Chief Legal Counsel
T. Rowe Price & Associates

Faith C. Millspaugh

Vice-President
Mount Vernon Club

Michael Balcom

Treasurer
Senior Associate
Brown Advisory

Donald P. McPherson, III

Secretary Chair, Legal/Agreement Committee
Retired Partner
DLA Piper LLP (US)

Directors

Elizabeth Bonner

Terrell Boston-Smith

City of Baltimore, Office of the Sheriff

Joe Brant

The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

Scott Brillman

Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association

Connie Caplan

The Time Group

Adrianne Walker Carroll

Haymaker Promotions

Councilman Eric C. Costello

Rosalee Davison

Andrew B. Frank

City of Baltimore, Office of the Comptroller

John A. Gilpin

Co-Chair, Maintenance & Program Committee
Baltimore Community Foundation

Donte Johnson

Hotel Revival

Jane McConnell, RN JD

Co-Chair, Maintenance & Program Committee
Maryland Medicine Comprehensive Insurance Program

Therese O’Malley, Ph.D.

Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
National Gallery of Art

Tracy Proietti

NuovoRe

Charles Rutheiser, Ph.D

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

 

Ex-Officio

Reginald Moore

Director
Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks

Press Releases

If you are from the press, and have questions about Mount Vernon Place and/or the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy, please email info@MVPConservancy.org.

View Press Releases →

Contact The Conservancy

 


 

Our Staff

Lance Humphries, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Paul Wissman
Associate Manager

George Chang
Site Manager

Officers

Henry H. Hopkins

President
Retired Chief Legal Counsel
T. Rowe Price & Associates

Faith C. Millspaugh

Vice-President
Mount Vernon Club

Michael Balcom

Treasurer
Senior Associate
Brown Advisory

Donald P. McPherson, III

Secretary Chair, Legal/Agreement Committee
Retired Partner
DLA Piper LLP (US)
 
 

Directors

Elizabeth Bonner

Terrell Boston-Smith

City of Baltimore, Office of the Sheriff

Joe Brant

The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University

Scott Brillman

Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association

Connie Caplan

The Time Group

Adrianne Walker Carroll

Haymaker Promotions

Councilman Eric C. Costello

Rosalee Davison

Andrew B. Frank

City of Baltimore, Office of the Comptroller

John A. Gilpin

Co-Chair, Maintenance & Program Committee
Baltimore Community Foundation

Donte Johnson

Hotel Revival

Jane McConnell, RN JD

Co-Chair, Maintenance & Program Committee
Maryland Medicine Comprehensive Insurance Program

Therese O’Malley, Ph.D.

Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
National Gallery of Art

Tracy Proietti

NuovoRe

Charles Rutheiser, Ph.D

The Annie E. Casey Foundation
 
 

Ex-Officio

Reginald Moore

Director
Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks

Press Releases

If you are from the press, and have questions about Mount Vernon Place and/or the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy, please email info@MVPConservancy.org.

View Press Releases →

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