There is a world-famous baseball stadium in Baltimore, Maryland - new, yet old in styling; a setting of Papal visits; a place of history (remember 2131?). There is more history to that stadium's name than Cal Ripkin, however; there is more mystique than the fact that Babe Ruth's father's tavern was near what is now third base: there is The Warehouse. And there is what once laid beyond the warehouse - a place the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad called by various names over the years - in the late 1980s the area right beside the warehouse on the Russell Street side was called the "Lee Street yard". But railfans and historians know the area by another, all-inclusive name:

Camden Yard

This photograph was taken in May 1977, in the twilight of Camden Yard's existence as a railroad facility. In the background are two large gas holders - now only memories as they have been dismantled - of the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company's Spring Garden facility. The large, black bridge looming in the distance to the right and again above the blue locomotive is the old Ostend Street bridge, now also history. Finally, the rooftop peeking above the point where the two engines are coupled is the tower roof of "HB" tower (see below).
Photo taken May 1977

This is HB tower, located just beneath the (then) newly-constructed ramp leading from southbound Green Street to I-95. The tower was located roughly halfway between Camden Station and Ostend Street.

Photo taken March 1983

But what was here before...?
A lot of railroad was here. At the turn of the century, Camden Yard was a very busy freight and passenger terminal. The two tracks which remained at the time I took the above photos were originally part of an incredible maze of trackwork, both at the Camden Station level and at the Howard Street Tunnel level -there were passenger platforms at the moth of the tunnel, attained by stairs which extended down from the rear of Camden Station.

Listed below are four maps I have copied of the area as it was in 1901.  To view a map, click on the thumbnail in the left-hand column:

Camden Yards 1 Camden station and upper train sheds; shows the warehouse as well as the platforms at the mouth of the Howard Street Tunnel
Camden Yards 2 Upper yard area showing "belt line" tracks descending to Howard Street Tunnel. Note: the two sets of more-closely-spaced lines are retaining walls on either side of the cut through which the belt line descends to the Howard Street tunnel.
Camden Yards 3 Lower yard area
Camden Yards 4 "Bailey's wye" showing the roundhouse (!) and junctions with tracks to Locust Point/Riverside to the east and Carroll/Mt. Clare to the west
The maps are taken from Sanborn Fire Insurance Company maps for Baltimore. The Sanborn maps, which are highly-detailed and extremely descriptive maps of major cities around the United States, are on microfilm at many libraries across the country. The copies which I used are housed at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis.

I hope that as you peruse these maps you will get a sense of the history surrounding Camden Yards and will recognize that it is more to Baltimore than just a ballpark. Camden Yards, where Camden Station served for decades as a major passenger terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, is a cornerstone in the very foundation of the city.

Okay, that's enough homilizing. Time for more pictures! To avoid the looooong download time typical of pages which contain many photographs, each group is on its own page. To see them, click on the thumbnail image beside the descriptions.

warehouse The Warehouse.Temptress of power hitters, landmark to thousands of drivers on South Howard Street...the sole remnant of the industry which once occupied the site of today's baseball stadium. This view was taken in 1978.

The Warehouse today

Camden Station in 1982 - a run-down and disgraceful shell of its former self, betraying its spot in history.

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Last updated Thursday, January 1, 2009