It was Baltimore’s 284th birthday yesterday. (Which is amazing! The city doesn’t look a day over 270!) To celebrate, the Atlantic Cities published a bunch of compare-and-contrast images illustrating how the city has grown and changed over the past century. But what’s even more interesting is what’s stayed the same — as evidenced by the 1911 harbor map vs. the 2013 harbor, which look remarkably similar.
The Bromo-Seltzer tower, the Washington Monument, Penn Station, the United Methodist Church, the Shot Tower, the Johns Hopkins medical campus: they were all there in 1911, and they’re still there now; by comparing the old maps with the new photographs, it’s easy to see how Baltimore’s bone structure has remained largely intact. Of course, the Jones Falls expressway now curves through the city where the actual Jones Falls used to run, and there are a lot more people and buildings than there used to be. But, as Atlantic Cities writer Mark Byrnes notes, “Baltimore has been able to preserve its history better than other cities with similarly timed booms and busts.” Take that, Buffalo! And happy belated birthday to you, Baltimore; may you look even better 284 years from now.