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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT File Photo, Undated Photo
St. Paul's Cemetery
Inventory No.: , B-3686
Date Listed: 6/30/1988
Location: , 733 W. Redwood Street & Martin Luther King Boulevard, , Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Site
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1799-1900
Description: Old St. Paul’s Cemetery is a 2.4 acre walled burial ground in south-central Baltimore. It is bounded on three sides by streets, Redwood and Lombard Streets and Martin Luther King Boulevard, and by the University of Maryland campus on the fourth. The walls are stone on three sides and brick along Redwood Street. The entrance is on Redwood Street through a pair of iron gates. Laid out about 1799, the cemetery is divided into a grid pattern of paths intersecting at right angles with the graves arranged in the east-west manner. The plots are generally twenty-four feet in depth with the widths in multiples of eight feet. The graves are marked with monuments or vaults ranging from simple and plain stones standing erect or flat on the ground to columned monuments and tablets. In 1817, some older burials were moved to St. Paul’s from other cemeteries. A section along the west side was destroyed for a highway project in the 1970s. The wall along Martin Luther King Boulevard dates from this project. Archeological testing in this area revealed a number of unmarked paupers’ graves, mainly late 19th-early 20th century in date. These were moved prior to construction. Significance: Old St. Paul’s Cemetery is one of the two oldest cemeteries in Baltimore and one of the very few remaining examples of an important transitional stage in the development of cemeteries in the city. It bridges the gap between the churchyard burial ground of the 18th century and the rural cemetery movement of the 1830s. It is an important expression of the funerary arts of architecture, sculpture, and landscaping in Baltimore in this conservative period just prior to the flowering of Gothic revival. St. Paul’s also provides an invaluable record of American material culture as it evolved in Baltimore through the 19th century, particularly the first five decades. Nowhere is there a better continuous record of Baltimore’s material progress in these neglected decades than in St. Paul’s. Finally, the graves at this cemetery represent people of transcendent importance in the development of Baltimore and Maryland. For many of them, their plot in Old St. Paul’s is the only material tie still left in the city where they resided.
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