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Important dates during the history of Harborplace

September 1964: Inner Harbor master plan unveiled.

April 1973: Dedication of the public wharf on the west shore, where visiting ships dock.

April 1974: Construction begins on the Inner Harbor promenade.

September 1974: Baltimore City Fair held on the West Shore at what is now Rash Field.

June 1976: Maryland Science Center opens.

July 1976: Seven tall ships and six military vessels from around the world sail into Baltimore's Inner Harbor to celebrate the nation's bicentennial, revealing the potential of the Inner Harbor as a tourist destination.

November 1978: Voters approve referendum permitting the use of 3.2 acres of public parkland to be developed by the Rouse Co. for Harborplace as long as 26 acres remain public parkland.

January 1979: Ground broken for Harborplace.

July 2, 1980: Grand opening of Harborplace.

1981: Grand openings of the National Aquarium in Baltimore (Aug. 8) and the Hyatt Regency Baltimore hotel (Oct. 6). James Rouse featured on the cover of Time magazine.

June-July 1986: 25 tall ships come to the Inner Harbor in conjunction with the rededication of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

September 1987: Opening of the retail section of the Gallery at Harborplace, Pratt and Light streets.

June 1992: 12 tall ships visit the Inner Harbor to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyage to America.

April 9, 1996: James Rouse, founder of the Rouse Co., dies.

January 1998: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith break ground for a Planet Hollywood restaurant in the Pratt Street pavilion of Harborplace. It closed in September 2001.

June 2000: 30 tall ships visit the Inner Harbor for the millennium celebration.

May 2004: Inner Harbor Visitor Center opens just south of the Light Street pavilion of Harborplace.

November 2004: General Growth Properties of Chicago purchases the Rouse Co. for $12.6 billion.

April 2006: West Shore Park opens.

June 2007: Retail kiosks open between Light and Pratt pavilions. Establishment of the Waterfront Partnership approved by Baltimore's Board of Estimates.

April 2009: Unable to refinance debt acquired during its rapid expansion, Harborplace owner General Growth files one of the biggest Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases in U.S. history.

October 2009: A 7-foot-2-inch bronze statue of William Donald Schaefer is unveiled just south of the Light Street Pavilion of Harborplace.

February 2010: General Growth rejects a hostile $10 billion takeover bid by Simon Property Group, the nation's largest shopping mall owner.

May 2010: Simon withdraws takeover bid as federal judge approves Harborplace owner General Growth's plan to emerge from bankruptcy, which it plans to do by year's end.

July 2010: Marking Harborplace's 30th anniversary, General Growth is poised to announce new tenants as part of a strategy to appeal more strongly to nearby residents and office workers as well as tourists and conventioneers.

Source: Baltimore Sun research

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