One of the country's more beautifully designed public spaces, Mount Vernon Place is a prime spot for relaxing. It was established when John Eager Howard donated the highest point in Baltimore as a site for a memorial to George Washington. With the monument as its center, the square is composed of four parks, each a block in length, that are arranged around Mount Vernon Place (which goes east–west) and Washington Place (north–south). Benches near the monument are great
for watching water calmly trickle from the fountains. The sculptures in the parks deserve a close look; of special note is a bronze lion by Antoine-Louis Barye in the middle of West Mount Vernon Place. Northeast of the monument is Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, a striking example of Victorian Gothic architecture. It was built in the mid-1850s on the site of Francis Scott Key's home and place of death. Free concerts are held in the park monthly in the summertime. Take a moment to admire the brownstones along the north side of East Mount Vernon Place. They're excellent examples of the luxurious mansions built by 19th-century residents of Baltimore's most prestigious neighborhood.