BNHA Riverside Park


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

Parks/Green Spaces

Over-looking the Patapsco, Riverside Park was once known Battery Square, the site of the six-gun battery that defended Fort McHenry, Fort Covington, and the City of Baltimore during the War of 1812. The square began with the purchase of three acres from James Polk in 1862 and became known as Riverside Park when 14 acres more were added to the south of the site in 1873. At its inception, Riverside Park was considered to be “an attractive pleasure ground.” As a square, the park originally was enclosed with iron railings and had a large marble fountain at its center with four drinking fountains supplied with ice water. The park also had a pavilion, wide drives around the edge of the park, a palm garden, and a playground.

Riverside Park is still laid out in a series of well-arranged drives and walks and has two pavilions. In 2008, Riverside Park was designated a city landmark, recognizing its historic role in the Battle of Baltimore, its cultural legacy as a public space, and its Victorian landscape design elements. Current amenities at the park include basketball courts, a playground, and a public pool.

Site summary courtesy of the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks