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Best Literary Landmarks In Baltimore

Baltimore is a city steeped in literature, both old and new. Reflected within its landmarks lies a history in which visitors may connect to other people, ideas and times. These literary landmarks boast both history and allure, with stories of the lates, greats and, well, a few oddballs lit worshippers can't help but love.

Enoch Pratt Free Library

Enoch Pratt Free Library

400 Cathedral St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
(410) 396-5430

Price: free

From its inception in 1882 to more recent expansions, the Enoch Pratt library has provided "equal access to information and services" for everyone who needed it. One of the oldest free libraries in the United States, with more than 20 locations in the Baltimore area, the main library along Cathedral Street is the place to expand imaginations, conduct research from a plethora of sources, and acquire knowledge of any desired subject. The library began as a place to borrow books and grew into an interactive house of varying media, including films and computers with Internet access. Along with classes and special events, the Enoch Pratt extends beyond its walls through the Bookmobile that brings the library out into the community.

Related: Best Culture On A Budget In Baltimore


Edgar Allan Poe Gravesite and Memorial

North Greene and West Fayette streets
Baltimore, Md. 21201

Price: free

No doubt one of the most famous and unforgettable writers to come to Baltimore, Edgar Allan Poe now rests in peace beside his aunt Maria as well as his wife, Virginia. The Gothic author wrote classic works, including "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Tell-Tale Heart," as well as poems "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee," among many others. Those with an affinity for literature, history or horror gather at this landmark each Jan. 19, Poe's birthday, to collectively celebrate the man, the author and the legend. Though the anonymous "Poe Toaster" recently retired the annual tradition of leaving a bottle of cognac on Poe's grave, only time will tell if Poe fans will continue the practice. Don't miss his house and museum at 203 N. Amity St. as well.

Charles Center

One Charles Center

100 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 244-7200

Price: free

This ordinary downtown skyscraper that hundreds and thousands of people walk by every day was featured on the popular HBO show "The Wire," based on the book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets" by Baltimore's own journalist, David Simon. The novel, published in 1991, featured the dark, criminal elements of Charm City along with its law enforcement. As the creator, head writer and executive producer of the show, Simon focused on many local sites. One Charles Center, or the "Bauhaus building," served as the show's version of the Baltimore city police headquarters and is one of the more easily accessible and safe locations to visit.

Christ Episcopal Church/New Refuge Deliverance Cathedral

Chase and Saint Paul streets
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 752-6524

Price: free

In a city known more for its crime, it is ironic that it is also the birthplace of the queen of etiquette. Emily Post attributed her knowledge and training to simply "the accident of good birth and life among people trained like herself from infancy." True to this statement, she often went to the Christ Episcopal Church, now the site of the New Refuge Deliverance Cathedral that her father, Bruce, designed. Post was also educated at her home, just a few steps away from the church at 14 E. Chase St., until the family moved to New York in 1878.

Related: 5 Must-Read Books By Baltimore Authors

Mount Vernon Methodist Church

10 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 685-5290

Price: free

In addition to striking a lively chord with Fort McHenry as the location where the National Anthem was created, Baltimore also hosts a more somber place: the site of Francis Scott Key's death. While Key was born in Frederick County, and was eventually buried there, he died of pleurisy in January 1843 at his daughter's home, which is now known as the Mount Vernon Methodist Church. To this day, there is a plaque on the building commemorating his death.

Pam Smith graduated from Penn State with a B.A. in English and a passion for writing. Her adaptive nature led her to work in the scientific, energy supply, and business industries while writing on a multitude of topics for various online media. Pam currently resides in Baltimore County. Her work can be found at

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