The Inner Harbor
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Baltimore's New Football Team: The Ravens
Like Loyola College, the city of Baltimore has evolved dramatically in the past two decades. From its beginnings as a major industrial center and storied seaport, Baltimore has grown into a diverse city that sees as an important hub for an assortment of business, cultural, and educational activities.
The downtown area, which includes the world-famous Inner Harbor, is located about five miles from Loyola's Evergreen Campus. Perhaps best symbolizing Baltimore's renaissance is the Inner Harbor redevelopment, which has been ongoing since the mid-1970s. Harborplace, a seaside pavilion completed in 1980, was the catalyst of Baltimore's rebuilt downtown, and the erection of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, a heralded baseball stadium that opened in 1992, continued the era of impressive urban renewal. The development continues on a daily basis, with new restaurants and other commercial establishments opening or planning to open in the near future. Baltimore's convention center is undergoing a major facelift and expansion, and ground recently was broken for a football stadium that will be located next to Oriole Park and house the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore is much more than a series of buildings surrounding the picturesque Inner Harbor, however. It is a city of great history, dating to the days of colonial America. Baltimore is the birthplace of "The Star Spangled Banner," written by Francis Scott Key aboard a ship in the city's harbor during the War of 1812. Fort McHenry, which was attacked by the British during that war, is open to the public and recounts the dramatic events leading up to the penning of our national anthem. Baltimore's fascinating history also can be traced at one of the nation's most extensive free library systems or in places such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery, the Baltimore City Life, Museums, the Babe Ruth Museum, the B&O Railroad Museum, the Maryland Historical Society, and the Holocaust Memorial.
The city also is the birthplace of such success stories as ABC broadcaster Jim McKay Loyola class of 1943, filmmaker Barry Levinson (The Natural, Rain Man), and writer Tom Clancy (Loyola class of 1969), whose novels include The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, and Clear and Present Danger. In recent years Baltimore has become a popular site for the production of major Hollywood motion pictures, including such films as Diner and Sleepless in Seattle, and the popular television series Homicide is filmed in Fells Point.
Dubbed "The Land of Pleasant Living," Baltimore recently was named one of the nation's 16 most-livable cities. As evidenced by its annual series of ethnic and cultural festivals, which contribute to the city's "Charm City" nickname. Baltimore has a storied tradition of strong neighborhoods such as eclectic Fells Point, picturesque Mount Washington and historic Little Italy.
A town rich in sports history, Baltimore can point to the accomplishments of its professional teams with pride. Three Baltimore sports franchises have won world championships, including baseball's Orioles (1966, 1970, 1983), football's Colts (1958, 1959, 1970) and the Baltimore Blast of the now-defunct Major Indoor Soccer League (1984). In addition, the Baltimore Stallions became the first American team to capture the Canadian Football League's storied Grey Cup last November, and the Cleveland Browns have moved to Baltimore, where they will assume the nickname Ravens and play for two seasons in Memorial Stadium. The city also is home to the Spirit of the National Professional Soccer League, the Bandits of the American Hockey League and the thunder of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.
Baltimore also houses numerous colleges and universities, which paired with Loyola's proximity to downtown, provide students with an abundance of social opportunities. Canton, Fells Point, Federal Hill, and Water Street, all within 20 minutes of the Evergreen Campus, feature restaurants, nightlife and shops geared toward a younger crowd, and Towson, a college town located about five miles north of Loyola, offers a similar atmosphere. Also within a reasonable drive of campus is Washington, D.C., which is about 35 miles south of downtown Baltimore, and Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, which is about 25 miles to the southeast. The proximity of those two cities provides infinitely more educational, cultural, social and employment opportunities for Loyola students and graduates, while Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Penn Station allow for convenient travel by air or rail to other large Eastern cities as well as the rest of the world.
One visit and you'll agree that Baltimore is an ever-changing city with a proud past and a diversity that suggests it will remain one of America's urban gems. It is a continually growing suburban area that always finds a way to stay on the cutting edge while still maintaining its small-town charm.
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