Activities, History and museums
Downtown Baltimore is the central business district of Baltimore traditionally bounded by Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to the west, Mt. Royal Avenue to the north, President Street to the east and the Inner Harbor area to the south. It consists of five neighborhoods: Westside, Mount Vernon, City Centre, Inner Harbor, and Camden Yards. It is the focal point of business in the Baltimore metropolitan area with over 100,000 employees. It has also increasingly become a heavily populated neighborhood with over 37,000 residents and new condominiums and apartment homes being built steadily.
City Centre is the historic financial district in Baltimore that has increasingly shifted eastward. Hundreds of businesses are found here, and it remains the center of life in Baltimore. City Centre is also home to the majority of Baltimore's skyscrapers (including the massive Charles Centre district) as well as most of the planned, proposed and/or approved skyscrapers in Baltimore City. It includes the historic Charles Street corridor.
The Inner Harbor is the chief commercial and tourist destination in Baltimore, visited by over 13 million people a year. The Inner Harbor features a large number of restaurants, hotels, retail areas (such as Harborplace), and entertainment (such as Power Plant Live!). It was named by National Geographic as one of the best summer trips in 2012 (along with all of Baltimore in general).
Westside Baltimore is the western portion of downtown Baltimore that includes Market Center and many of the newest developments in downtown Baltimore. It has increasingly become the preferred residential section of downtown. It is also home to the site of the "Superblock" project that will include hundreds of condos and apartments as well as a variety of retail and commercial space. The former home of Baltimore's many and famed department stores, Westside Baltimore is now anchored by the University of Maryland, Baltimore consisting of the University of Maryland Health System, University of Maryland School of Law and the University of Maryland Biopark. The Westside is also home to several performing arts centers, including the Hippodrome Theatre, 1st Mariner Arena and the future home of the Everyman Theatre.
Mount Vernon, also known as the cultural district, is a high-density area known for its attractive nightlife, buoyed by its large amount of bars, clubs and lounges and its historic multi-story townhomes (most of which have been transformed into apartments) and traditional apartment buildings. Mount Vernon features the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Lyric Opera House. The world-renowned Peabody Institute is also located in Mount Vernon. To the very north is Penn Station, which offers Amtrak service to several U.S. major cities as well as MARC service to Washington, D.C.
Downtown Baltimore also contains Camden Yards, which includes the well-known home of the Baltimore Orioles, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. Many residential and commercial proposals have also been made for this area.
Downtown Baltimore has been the center of city life since Baltimore was chartered in 1796.
The Pratt Street Power Plant was built in 1900. In 1904, downtown Baltimore was almost destroyed by a huge fire with damages estimated at $150 million. In 1973, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned from the vice-presidency in the Garmatz Federal Office Building at Charles Centre.
The 2012 St. Patrick's Day beating occurred on March 17, 2012 (St. Patrick's Day) in Downtown.
Downtown Baltimore offers many options for transportation, including subway, light rail, bus service, Amtrak, MARC Train service through Penn Station and Camden Station as well as access to I-83, I-695, I-95, 295, and 395.