BNHA Patterson Park Observatory


Baltimore City Landmark

Interpretive Framework

Shaping a Monumental City: The City’s Growth in the 20th Century

Upholding Independence: Baltimore and the War of 1812

Resource Type

Points of Interest

The four story, sixty-foot-high observatory in Patterson Park was described by its designer, Charles H. Latrobe, as “a most substantial and ornamental building, commanding a very fine view, especially over the harbor”. Latrobe was the General Superintendent and Engineer under the Old Park Commission. Carefully restored in 1965, the Board of Estimates, prompted by Mayor Theodore R. McKeldin, appropriated more than twice the amount for refurbishing than it had originally cost.

Granite steps form the base of the octagonal iron structure, which has a central spiral stair enclosed by glass and wood. The three encircling balconies are cantilevered on iron and the wood is painted yellow and orange in accordance with the original color scheme. Multi-light, colored glass windows and transoms complete the festive structure. An East Baltimore landmark, it is commonly known as the “Pagoda.” The structure was designated a city landmark in 1982.

Site summary courtesy of the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation