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History of Sports Legends Museum and Camden Station

SLACY Exterior.jpgOpened in 1856, Camden Station served as the grand passenger terminus for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the country's first commercial railroad. For a period of time it dominated Baltimore's skyline as the city's tallest building, as it was designed to be taller than the Washington Monument.

Camden Station itself is an historic artifact, as the first blood of the Civil War was shed outside the station's northern portals on Pratt Street. Union troops, on foot from the President Street station to Camden Station, clashed with angry southern sympathizers, leading to the first Civil War battle. Abraham Lincoln also passed through the building on several occasions, once on his way to Gettysburg.

Additions were made to the building throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was stabilized between the World Wars, and then began to contract. In 1971, the B&O vacated what by then was America's oldest big city train terminal in continuous use, and Camden Station was sold to the Maryland Stadium Authority. Determined to integrate the historic structure into the new Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the MSA commissioned the firm of Cho, Wilks and Benn to restore the facade to its 1867 appearance, although the Authority had no definite plans for the use of Camden Station.

Unused since the 1980s, Camden Station was is serious danger of suffering substantial structural damage, and steps needed to be taken to preserve its core and shell. In the same way the birthplace of George Herman "Babe" Ruth was saved from destruction, Camden Station was saved by the Babe Ruth Museum before reaching the point of dilapidation.

Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards opened to the public on May 14, 2005. The Museum occupies the basement and first floor of the Station with 22,000 square feet of artifacts and interactive exhibits, transforming Camden Station into one of the most spectacular sports museums in America.

Camden Station renovation for Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards completed by J. Vinton Shafer & Sons Inc. Exhibit design by Chermayeff, Sollogub and Poole, Inc. Exhibit fabrication by Maltbie, Inc.

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