Baltimore Is About to Get Rid of the Wrong Ugly Man-Shaped Statue

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Photo by Baltimore Gal
Photo by Baltimore Gal

Need more proof that Baltimore doesn’t always have its priorities straight? Consider the case of Charlie. He’s just your average guy who enjoys hanging out in the middle of a Charles Village traffic circle and occasionally gets in trouble with the Baltimore Police. Okay, sure, he’s not real exactly, but that doesn’t mean his feelings can’t get hurt!

So here’s the deal: A couple years ago, the city installed a traffic circle at 32nd Street and Guilford Avenue in Charles Village. But some motorists weren’t expecting or didn’t see the roundabout and drove right on over it — creating a whole new traffic hazard. So some enterprising resident — Charles Village-based artist Matt Fouse — stuck Charlie, a man-shaped sculpture made out of discarded metal, in the middle of the circle. Voila! No one drives over the traffic sculpture anymore — and Charles Village has a beloved new resident.

But the Baltimore Police don’t see it that way. They’ve announced that they plan to remove Charlie today because he “presents a hazard to both pedestrians and motorists,” according to the Baltimore Sun. The Sun’s non-scientific survey of neighborhood residents turned up clear support for Charlie. “It helps with community spirit, and I can’t see anything unsafe about its presence there,” Amy Thompson told the Sun. ” I hope that we’re allowed to keep it.”

At the very least, if the city insists on taking down Charlie, they should take down the man-woman outside Penn Station, too — it’s only fair.



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10 COMMENTS

  1. I could not agree more. The Man-Woman Statue at Penn Station was a terrible mistake, and has to go. It ruins the view of the station not to mention makes us look silly. Anything would be better suited there; a fountain, a smaller contemporary art-work, a monument to the Pennsylvania Railroad, I would even accept an equestrian statue of Governor O’Malley.

  2. When I first started reading this I thought it was about the man-woman statue. If only that were true… Nobody likes that thing!

  3. If you ask me, putting in that traffic circle is a hazard in the first place. It creates an unnecessarily dangerous condition for cyclists (on what is a major bike thoroughfare). If they’re going to remove the statue, they should really rethink the intersection.

    #CarDooredOnGuilford

    • The circles are installed for the benefit of cyclists, as they slow car traffic without forcing cyclists to slow or stop like stop signs.

      Since their installation, bike traffic has increased 200% on the corridor.

  4. this is a great idea…. you can’t even see the round about now and people are always running over it, plus the people walking round it almost get hit when the cars DO realize it is there and swerve to avoid it…. Keep Charlie!!!

  5. They have taken Charlie down. I thought this statue sculpture guerilla work was well done and certainly serving a purpose making the roundabout a bit safer. Barofsky’s “Man, Woman” sculpture is a bit large for the site, but certainly a unique work, unusual, and as any modern piece worth its salt, controversial. Which means most non-artists will complain and at least half the artists will complain. In other words, I like it especially because most of you do not. I also like Charlie. I suspect Charlie will come back many times or else his sculptural friends will be standing in that traffic oval and be looking for him.

  6. Hear, hear, har, har!!!! Let’s start at Penn Station, and topple the heinous man-woman like the Iraqi’s did the statue of Saddam Hussein, and then process to Charles Village, and form a protective circle around Charlie — Citizens Unite!!!

  7. The Man-Woman Statue at Penn Station is an eyesore, a terrible piece of “art” that detracts from the area around it. I will say the traffic circle in Charles village is completely unnecessary and I have seen a LOT of close calls there. A stop sign is better than a tiny circle that you drive so tightly your vision is impaired.

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