Mount Vernon is a neighborhood that is home to some of the most well-preserved 19th century architecture located in the East Coast of the United States. The centerpiece of the neighborhood is the area around the Washington Monument, a massive pillar commenced in 1815 to commemorate the first president of the United States. Mount Vernon is the cultural center of the city which is just north of downtown Baltimore and has been designated a National Landmark Historic District. Mount Vernon is predominantly residential but is also home to many cultural instiutions, including the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Walters Art Museum, University of Baltimore, Maryland Historical Society, Contemporary Museum, Maryland Institute College of Art, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Baltimore School for the Arts, Lyric Opera House, Center Stage, Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch, Spotlighters Theatre, Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute, and Theatre Project. Mount Vernon also has many dining options with many fine restaurants, cafes, and bars. The neighborhood is also home to many art galleries, retail stores, hotels, and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs).