Last Man Standing

Baltimore erected the first monument to George Washington (pictured) in 1815, predating D.C.’s famed obelisk by half a century. This city grandly memorializes other legends too.

In 1792 the city commemorated the tricentennial of the year Christopher Columbus “sailed the ocean blue” with America’s first monument to the New World’s “discoverer” (now one of three Columbus statues in the city).

Baltimore flaunts its fondness for longtime resident Edgar Allan Poe, who died here, with the first NFL team named for a literary figure (go Ravens!) and also the first U.S. monument to the macabre poet. Commissioned in 1907, the statue now sits in the plaza of the University of Baltimore Law School.

A less expected local icon? Frank Zappa, who died of cancer in 1993 but last fall received city immortality. Lithuanian fans gifted a bronze bust to the rock iconoclast’s hometown. The head, perched atop a 12-foot pole, resides next to a library in Highlandtown, the avant-garde musician’s East Baltimore neighborhood.