Construction Underway on New Water Feature at McKeldin Square

| September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

A second phase of the McKeldin Square renovation is underway as Downtown Partnership of Baltimore (DPOB) is leading a project that will bring a new water feature to the park. The $4-million Phase One of the project included the demolition of a large water fountain and skywalk, as well as the creation of a green space with new tiered bench seating made of materials from the old fountain.

DPOB Vice President of Communications Michael Evitts said to, “This is the latest update to McKeldin Plaza, part of our ongoing effort to create an urban park that can also function as a gateway into Downtown from the south and be utilized for large-scale events, such as the upcoming Baltimore Running Festival and Brighten Baltimore.”

The new water feature will be a circular pattern and have pores that emit mist. There will also be color-changing lights. “The element is designed to be cooling on hot summer days and offer an interesting visual at night. It’s a hardscape, so it can be activated year-round,” said Evitts.

A gabion wall adjacent to the water feature will have a dedication to Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin engraved on it. McKeldin served as Mayor of Baltimore from 1943-1947 and 1963-1967, and as Governor of Maryland from 1951-1959.

There will also be three additional signs in the park dedicated to McKeldin. They will display the following quote from McKeldin:

“Envision with me … a new Inner Harbor area, where the imagination of man can take advantage of a rare gift of nature to produce an enthralling panorama of office buildings, parks, high-rise apartments, and marinas. In this, we have a special opportunity, for few other cities in the world have been blessed, as has ours, with such a potentially beautiful harbor area within the very heart of downtown … Too Visionary this? … Too dreamlike? … Certainly not.”

The Phase Two design was created by landscape architecture firm Mahan Rykiel Associates. It is funded with $500,000 from the State of Maryland and $900,000 from DPOB.

According to DPOB, Phase One created three times as much public space as the park had with the foundation and added “better sight lines of Downtown and the Inner Harbor.”

McKeldin’s family has been working alongside DPOB on this project.

DPOB has envisioned realigning Light St. in the future so that McKeldin Square is connected to the Inner Harbor, but DPOB President Kirby Fowler said after the opening of Phase One in 2017 that this would be very expensive and many years away.

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