A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 17, 2016
Monumental City (Baltimore nickname)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Baltimore
Baltimore (/ˈbɔːltᵻˌmɔːr/, locally: [ˈbɔɫ.mɔɻ]) is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maryland, and the 26th-most populous city in the country. 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.

Wikipedia: Washington Monument (Baltimore)
The Washington Monument is the centerpiece of Mount Vernon Place, an urban square in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first major monument begun to honor George Washington.

History
The Monument, a colossal column, was designed by American architect Robert Mills, who also designed the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Construction began in 1815 on land donated by John Eager Howard and the masonry work was completed by 1829. The 178 foot 8 inch doric column holds a ground-floor gallery offering digital exhibits about the construction of the Monument and the history of Mount Vernon Place. Climbing the 227 steps to the top provides an excellent view of the city from the historic neighborhood where it is located. Its neighbors include the Peabody Institute and The Walters Art Museum.

8 February 1823, Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC), pg. 3, col. 5:
If the Canal should benefit the District, it will, at the same time, doubly benefit Baltimore and we cannot conceive of a more suicidal act, than for Baltimore, the monumental city, to interpose her influence in opposition to her own aggrandizement ...

23 July 1823, Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC), “To the Editors” by Rowland, pg. 2, col. 4:
One of those gentlemen charges me with “ignorances and falsehood;” another “supposes that I am a debtor to the banks, and cannot pay when called upon;” and the third tells me, for my consolation, that “the magnanimous monumental city of Baltimore gives graves to her enemies.”

18 November 1823, The Torch Light & Public Advertiser (Hagerstown, MD), “Grand Union Canal Dinner,” pg. 2, col. 3:
By Mr. Gales, of Washington. Baltimore, the Monumental City: an union of interest and object between her and the city of the Hero, Washington.

17 August 1824, Connecticut Courant (Hartford, CT), pg. 3, col. 1:
FROM THE NEW-YORK STATESMAN.
(...)
His vigilant creditor pursued him in haste to ‘the monumental city,’ (Baltimore—ed.) ...

23 September 1824, Baltimore (MD) Patriot and Mercantile Advertiser, pg. 2, col. 4:
We congratulate the city of Monuments (Baltimore—ed.) on this intended additional memento of its gratitude and patriotism.
(From the New York Evening Post, about a monument to General La Fayette.—ed.)

Google Books
A Narrative of the Visit to the American Churches
By Andrew Reed and James Matheson
New York, NY: Thomas George, Jr.
1835
Pg. 643:
This city (Baltimore—ed.) is styled the Monumental City, but somewhat proudly and ridiculously. It has, I think, but two monuments at present. Of one, though much has been said of it, it is kind to observe silence; the other will bear any praise that is reasonable, and deserves it.

OCLC WorldCat record
Life in Baltimore, or mysteries of the monumental city
Author: Paul Pry
Publisher: Baltimore : S.E. Smith, 1848.
Edition/Format: Print book : Fiction : English : 2nd ed

OCLC WorldCat record
The Monumental city, or Baltimore guide book, being a reliable directory for citizens and strangers to the prominent objects of interest, together with a description of the prominent Mercantile and Manufacturing Houses.
Author: John Christopher Gobright
Publisher: Baltimore, Gobright & Torsch, 1858.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The monumental city, its past history and present resources
Author: George W Howard
Publisher: Baltimore,: J.D. Ehlers, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library 1873.
Series: Making of America (MOA).

OCLC WorldCat record
Baltimore, Maryland, the monumental city, the Liverpool of America, with the finest harbor in the world. A souvenir of the one hundred and twenty-first anniversary of the Baltimore American, 1773-1894. Men who have made Baltimore what it is to-day. Its early history, full of stirring events; its later recod, full of grand achievements. A city of many industries of happy homes, of solid wealth and of general prosperity.
Author: Baltimore American.
Publisher: [Baltimore], [1894]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Outdoor sculpture in Baltimore : a historical guide to public art in the monumental city
Author: Cindy Kelly; Edwin Harlan Remsberg
Publisher: Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

The Monumental City
Christened by JQA
11 FEBRUARY 2015
JAS. GOLDSBOROUGH BIGWOOD
(...)
Friends, I hate to say it, but John Quincy Adams is not responsible for the Monumental City nickname. The reference above, printed in the February 8th 1823 edition of the Washington D.C. Daily National Intelligencer, ran four years before JQA’s toast—not to mention a full two years before Adams took office in the Executive Mansion. Baltimore, clearly, is referred to here as “the monumental city,” with italics for emphasis. The article is sort of humorous from a modern-day standpoint. Baltimore-area representatives to the Maryland Legislature were apparently opposed to the Potomac Canal, simply because it would have benefited the District of Columbia, never mind how much it would have also benefited Baltimore City. Talk about political stubbornness! No wonder the rivalry between Baltimore and D.C. football teams is so bitter…

Baltimore (MD) Sun
Who dubbed Baltimore “The Monumental City”?
Lance Humphries
AUGUST 15, 2015, 8:00 AM
On the Fourth of July, the Baltimore Washington Monument celebrated the bicentennial of the laying of its cornerstone 200 years ago. While the monument is an obvious point of pride for modern-day citizens of the city, during its day the erection of this colossal column was an unprecedented civic act in the newly-formed United States of America, giving rise to Baltimore’s nickname “The Monumental City.”
(...)
While (John Quincy—ed.) Adams did, indeed, toast “The Monumental City,” he did not give Baltimore the name. Unknown to Hunter, and not readily knowable until the recent availability of thousands of scanned historic newspapers and books, is that the title was first used in 1823 by the editors of the Daily National Intellingencer, the main newspaper in nearby Washington, D.C., and most likely by its principal editor Joseph Gales Jr.

On Feb. 8, 1823, in the middle of a heated political debate over Maryland’s support of the Potomac Canal (later called the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal), Gales’ paper cast scorn on the city of Baltimore, which in his opinion was not supporting the canal in the Maryland legislature. He was flabbergasted that “the monumental city” was not supporting this grand civic work, which he believed would add “to her own aggrandizement,” as he apparently thought the city’s monument did.

While Gales’ initial volley was a sarcastic one, within days other papers were picking up the phrase, and within months it was being used honorifically to celebrate the accomplishment of the city. As the phrase emerged in the newspapers, its origins were quickly lost, and by the early 1830s American and foreign publications and travel books routinely referred to Baltimore as “The Monumental City.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesCharm City, Monumental City (Baltimore nicknames) • Sunday, January 17, 2016 • Permalink