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Driving Downtown – Baltimore Maryland USA – Episode 30.
Starting Point: Light Street – https://goo.gl/maps/vResRgysAcv .
Baltimore is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland, and the 29th-most populous city in the country. It was established by the Constitution of Maryland and is not part of any county; thus, it is the largest independent city in the United States. Baltimore has more public monuments than any other city per capita in the country and is home to some of the earliest National Register historic districts in the nation, including Fell’s Point (1969), Federal Hill (1970) and Mount Vernon Place (1971). More than 65,000 properties, or roughly one in three buildings in the city, are listed on the National Register, more than any other city in the nation.
Founded in 1729, Baltimore is the second largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States and a major manufacturing center. After a decline in major manufacturing, industrialization and rail transportation, Baltimore shifted to a service-oriented economy, with the Johns Hopkins Hospital (founded 1889), and Johns Hopkins University (founded 1876), now the city’s top two employers.
Baltimore had a population of 621,849 in 2015; in 2010, that of Baltimore Metropolitan Area was 2.7 million, the 21st largest in the country.
With hundreds of identified districts, Baltimore has been dubbed “a city of neighborhoods”. Famous residents have included the writers Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, and H.L. Mencken; jazz musician James “Eubie” Blake; singer Billie Holiday; actor and filmmaker John Waters; and baseball player Babe Ruth. In the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner, later the American national anthem, in the city.
Almost a quarter of the jobs in the Baltimore region are in science, technology, engineering and math, in part attributed to its extensive undergraduate and graduate schools.
Once a predominantly industrial town, with an economic base focused on steel processing, shipping, auto manufacturing (General Motors Baltimore Assembly), and transportation, the city experienced deindustrialization which cost residents tens of thousands of low-skill, high-wage jobs. The city now relies on a low-wage service economy, which accounts for 90% of jobs in the city. Around the turn of the century, Baltimore was the leading US manufacturer of rye whiskey and straw hats. It also led in refining of crude oil, brought to the city by pipeline from Pennsylvania.
As of March 2015 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates Baltimore’s unemployment rate at 8.1% while one quarter of Baltimore residents (and 37% of Baltimore children) live in poverty. The 2012 closure of a major steel plant at Sparrows Point is expected to have a further impact on employment and the local economy. The Census Bureau reported in 2013 that 207,000 workers commute into Baltimore city each day. Downtown Baltimore is the primary economic asset within Baltimore City and the region with 29.1 million square feet of office space. The tech sector is rapidly growing as the Baltimore metro ranks 8th in the CBRE Tech Talent Report among 50 U.S. metro areas for high growth rate and number of tech professionals. Forbes ranked Baltimore fourth among America’s “new tech hot spots”.
The city is home to the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Other large companies in Baltimore include Under Armour, Cordish Company, Legg Mason, McCormick & Company, T. Rowe Price, and Royal Farms. A sugar refinery owned by American Sugar Refining is one of Baltimore’s cultural icons. Nonprofits based in Baltimore include Lutheran Services in America and Catholic Relief Services.