BALTIMORE, MARYLAND July 30, 2015 – Baltimore City’s Department of General Services (DGS) is pleased to announce that an ongoing project to revitalize the Phoenix Shot Tower will be supplemented by a $90,000 grant recently awarded by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority to Carroll Museums Inc. The Shot Tower is owned by DGS and leased to Carroll Museums in a public-private partnership. These funds will be matched by $150,000 already appropriated in DGS’s capital budget.
Constructed of one million bricks, the Shot Tower was the tallest building in the United States until the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, was completed after the Civil War. One of only a very few similar buildings left in the United States, the Phoenix Shot Tower was used to make lead shot from 1828 to 1892. Molten lead was dropped from a platform at the top of the 234' tower through a sieve and into a vat of cold water. The Shot Tower was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1972.
The funds will be used to complete the design and implementation of new lighting and stair improvements at the Shot Tower. The goal is to improve safety along the interior stair and have better public access to reach the tower’s upper floors and roof. DGS will be managing the project in tandem with Carroll Museums, Inc.
“The Department of General Services is excited about working in a true public-private partnership with Carroll Museums, Inc. to bring this unique attraction back on line.” said DGS Director Steve Sharkey. “We commend their diligence in securing this grant which will help us get visitors to the top of the Tower.”
This grant is one of 52 that the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority recently awarded statewide. The grants support heritage tourism projects and activities that draw visitors and expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout Maryland.
“Carroll Museums wants to provide an immersive experience at the Tower,” said Paula Hankins Carroll Museums Executive Director. “One that conveys the scale of the building and what it might have felt like to be a 19th century Tower worker. We also want guests to experience the historical narrative of Baltimore City using the 360 degree vista from the tower’s top. It’s a living “map” from Fort McHenry to Baltimore County.”
The Department of General Services is committed to providing healthy work environments and safe reliable vehicles for City employees by delivering high quality and cost-effective support services to City agencies who serve Baltimore’s citizens and stakeholders.