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Baltimore Living

Best Monument

José Martí bust

Photo: Patrick Pilkey, License: N/A, Created: 2013:09:13 11:58:30

Patrick Pilkey

Best Monument: JosÉ MartÍ bust

North Broadway and East Fayette Street

Completed in 1998, this quietly stately bust to 19th-century philosopher poet/revolutionary José Martí is one of the more recent monuments in a city that has erected them since the early 19th century, but it’s a sincere reminder of the ongoing transformative power of Baltimore’s immigrants. Martí was Cuban by birth, but he recognized that the many people of Latin America had more in common with each other despite whatever differences geopolitical nationalisms try to foster. Over the past two decades, Latin-American immigrants have settled in and transformed Upper Fells Point into a thriving community, and the pedestal of the bust—spearheaded by the late Dr. Louis Queral and Jose Herrera, Cubans who each immigrated to Baltimore in the 1950s—includes soil samples from 21 different Latin-American countries.

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