Janice E. Rettaliata
Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company
202, Redwood St., E., Baltimore, Baltimore City
The Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company Building, located on the northeast corner of East Redwood and South Calvert Streets, in Baltimore, is a mid-1880s brick-with-stone-ornamentation Romanesque-influenced bank building which was constructed in two parts. The original section is the front portion along Redwood Street, and the second section is to the north along Calvert. The exterior is characterized by heavy weight and massiveness reinforced by deeply set windows, round-arch window openings, squat columns with foliated capitals, broad plane roofs steeply pitched, and straight-topped windows in groups. The street elevations have foliated stone belt courses and smooth stone belt courses. The date 1885 appears in Roman numerals along the roof line above the recessed entranceway on the Redwood Street (south) elevation. The interior consists of a large banking room with a balcony around the west, north, and east sides. Interior decoration consists of Corinthian columns and ornate wall plaster work dating from when the interior was rebuilt following the Great Fire of 1904 with 1950s remodeling elements.
The building derives its significance as a highly ornamented bank building executed in the Romanesque style, and as one of the finest examples of the work of the Baltimore architectural firm of Wyatt and Sperry which designed several major commercial and ecclesiastical buildings in the city. The third source of significance is the historic role the bank played in the development of Baltimore as a financial, commercial, and urban center on the East Coast. The Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company underwrote bonds for several southern communities such as Norfolk, Virginia; Asheville, North Carolina; and Montgomery, Alabama.