Two years ago, the fountain at the center of the Inner Harbor’s McKeldin Plaza was the rallying point for the Occupy Baltimore movement. But the developers in charge of revamping the Inner Harbor think that the fountain — a classic example of Brutalist architecture — doesn’t give off a “welcoming” vibe, and are moving forward with plans to tear it down.
According to the Baltimore Business Journal, the Downtown Partnership disapproves of how the cement fountain looks like a giant wall to drivers heading northbound into downtown from Light Street. They want to replace it with something that’s more open and park-like, perhaps even featuring an ice skating rink. This summer, the Downtown Partnership won a $50,000 grant for the project, but they still have to come up with $200,000 in matching funds — and the entire project might cost a million or more.
“I don’t think [McKeldin Plaza] was meant for public meetings necessarily,” Downtown Partnership Kirby Fowler said, perhaps forgetting about that whole Occupy thing. The new design calls for merging the plaza with the Harborplace shopping zones. What better way to memorialize a movement that attempted to call into question the city’s reliance on big money developers, among other things?