McKeldin Square Fountain

McKeldin Fountain, The Meyerhoff Fountain,The Waterfall


Baltimore, Maryland, USA

39.286094, -76.613248


Thomas Todd


Built in


Modified in


Once a designated Free Speech zone and location of protests such as Occupy Baltimore and Black Lives Matter, this Brutalist gem from the 1980s was ultimately demolished in 2017 after several unsuccessful attempts at saving it.

For 35 years, the McKeldin Square was home to a rare public fountain in the Brutalist style designed by architect Thomas Todd. Located in a Free Speech Zone in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, McKeldin Fountain was popular among local workers, tourists and residents. At the highly visible intersection of Pratt and Light Streets in downtown Baltimore, the Square was the base of many protests, including Occupy Baltimore.
In 2013, with the help of the ACLU, the Square became the city’s model for several designated Free Speech Zones.
The story of McKeldin Fountain is an example of the escalating privatization of public spaces worldwide, a trend that continues to diminish access to full participation for ordinary people in everyday urban life.
The fountain boasted over a dozen diverse structures for water and gravity to flow, including a double waterfall.
After several years of neglect, the fountain was only sporadically running and its lighting, plants, and overall appearance started to deteriorate. In 2010, a controversial campaign was launched to demolish the fountain. Between October 2016 and January 2017, the fountain was leveled and replaced with a grassy field.
Future plans for the site are unknown.



2013 Fountain, Designated Free Speech Zone

2017 Non-existing, demolished between 2016-2017


1982 Baltimore City

2013 City of Baltimore

2017 City of Baltimore



2013 Deteriorated, earmarked for demolition

2017 Demolished

Property Management

1982 The Department of Public Works, The Department of Recreation and Parks

2013 The Department of Public Works, The Department of Recreation and Parks

2017 Waterfront Partnership

Form of government

1982 Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic

2013 Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic

2017 Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic

Spatial Planning Agency

1982 Charles Center - Inner Harbor Management inc.



Type of heritage and protection


2013 None

2017 N/A