Views from CHS
April 3, 2017
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Did you know that the Francis Key Bridge is the third longest continuous truss bridge in the world? That’s right! This steel, arch-shaped bridge carries about 11.5 million vehicles annually. What’s even better is that it’s directly across from a CHS classroom. It’s far in the distance but still very visible to the eye from the perch in Room 321, AKA the Comet Writing Center.
The Francis Key Bridge, or simply the Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, stands 185 feet high and has a span of 1,200 feet. Although the price was extremely high, it was important to construct this bridge due to it allowing more traffic lanes and a safer route for trucks to cross carrying hazardous items. This bridge was finally made into a single tube tunnel that ran by the Baltimore Harbor.
At Catonsville High, on the 3rd floor in room 321, students can get the chance to see this beautiful view. Not only do they get to see the bridge, but all of the tall buildings, the incredible skyline, and the water along with the breezes.
Sophomore Tasianna Battle didn’t even know CHS had a view like this until she came to the room.
“It’s really pretty, I wish all classrooms had this view,” she exclaimed.
Throughout the seasons, the view is constantly changing. In the summer time, it is very bright, and the trees are a vibrant green. In the fall, the tree leaves are a reddish orange and yellow, and, with windows surrounding half of the room, the scene is awesome. In the winter time, the trees are beautiful when covered with white snowfall, but this is the time when the view of the Baltimore Inner Harbor, the cityscape, and the bridge are clearest.
The scenery overall is very pleasant to look at while sitting in the classroom. The Comet newspaper, the Catonian yearbook, the Ellipsis literary magazine, the Comet Writing Center, and the SAT classes are all fortunate enough to call this space home.
“The view is very nice to look it, especially when you’re doing work because it relaxes you,” sophomore Rachel Phillips.
English teacher Jen Hartman also thinks the view is very nice.
“I wish that all of my classes had this view because I just float in here,” she explained. She compares the view to her other classrooms by describing how “it’s relaxing to work in versus looking at another part of the building or the parking lot.”
Students won’t even need binoculars to see the bridge because it’s literally right across from the school, and they can see it perfectly when the skies are clear. The reason is because of the height of the school’s campus.
CHS was built in the 1950s on the grounds of the Lurman mansion which was built here in the 1800s. Originally, the campus was the “Farmlands” estate, owned in the 19th century by Gustav Lurman and then was later sold to be made into a school. This mansion looked down on the Baltimore Harbor.
Even the campus itself offers quite a view. Lurman brought many rare trees and shrubs to his property, many of which are all still here today. Many of the trees come from different places in the world. The campus still contains bald cypress, dawn redwood, pond cypress, plum yew, and many more rare breeds.
Sophomore Luke Sattler is in the photography class here at CHS. He believes the view provides an excellent inspiration for artsy pictures.
“The pictures I take from this view also helps challenge the viewers assumptions of the city. Most people refer to the city as a bad place full with negative ideas, actions, and events; however, I want to challenge their opinions and show the city as a beautiful place,” he shared.