George Peabody Library in Mount Vernon

Last year, on a whim, I visited The Peabody Institute in Baltimore.  As a lover of books, music, architecture and history, I'm surprised it took me so long to explore the building.

Since my first visit I've fallen in love with the building and its contents, and any time I find myself in Mount Vernon I make it a priority to pop in for a peak.

The Peabody Institute is a music conservatory and a part of Johns Hopkins University. The building features beautiful staircases, a grand performance hall and a small museum area, but the crown jewel of the building is the George Peabody Library. 

As you walk into the library you’re greeted with the familiar smell of books. The combination of 300,000 books, 19th century architecture and streaming light make for quite an entrance. In terms of functionality, it’s not exactly like your county public library.  But there are books available and it makes a great place to study.  

The library is open for readers and visitors Tuesday -Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and is available for rent for weddings and events.

Housed in the same building is the conservatory where Peabody Conservatory students practice and perform.  It’s worth climbing the spiral staircase and venturing down the hall of practice rooms to listen in on the talented students.  Just outside the conservatory you can see the Washington Monument, a Baltimore landmark.

There are also a number of great restaurants just down the street from the conservatory that are worth a visit; check out Sotto Sopra for a full meal, or for drinks and appetizers visit The Brewer’s Art.

Parking is hit or miss in Mount Vernon. If you’re willing to walk a block or two you can usually find free parking. If not, there are several parking garages in the area.