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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT File Photo, Undated Photo
Baltimore College of Dental Surgery
Inventory No.: B-2258
Date Listed: 5/8/1987
Location: 429-433 N. Eutaw Street, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1881
Description: The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery building, constructed in 1881 on the southeast corner of North Eutaw and West Franklin Streets in downtown Baltimore, is three-story, pressed-brick commercial building. Each of the street façades is three bays wide; the bays are articulated by projecting brick pilasters, and the three stories are defined by granite belt courses. Windows on the second level are tall paired 2/2 sash with peaked granite hoods decorated with incised, Eastlake-influenced designs; the third story is lighted by triple 1/1 windows, with round-arched granite heads. A projecting bracketed wooden cornice caps the flat-roofed building. A narrow projecting bay between the center and south bays on the west façade defines the original entrance location. The first story has always been given to commercial use; it now features a Streamline Moderne storefront of etched black glass and aluminum, added c. 1942 when the entire building was adapted for use as a department store. The interior of the upper floors (the spaces used by the College) remains almost entirely intact, retaining the original stair and balustrade, door and window architraves, plaster cornices and medallions; the only alteration consists of the insertion of a mezzanine in the north room of the second floor, which is reversible and was accomplished without significant disruption of the original fabric. The building retains a high level of integrity. Significance: The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery building at 429-433 North Eutaw Street is significant for its association with the development of dental education in America. The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, founded in 1840, was the world’s first institution devoted to the training of practitioners in this emerging medical specialty. The building, constructed in 1881, was the fifth location occupied by the College. Its scale and architectural elaboration reflect the growth of the institution, both in number of students and in prominence within the field. Lauded by a contemporary publication as "the most complete and handsome building devoted to dental education in the world," the pressed-brick building featured granite exterior ornament and a wealth of decorative detailing on the interior, executed in wood, plaster, and pressed metal. Its interior spaces are fully adapted to its educational functions, providing spacious, well-lighted lecture and infirmary halls as well as a museum and laboratory rooms. The building retains considerable integrity, with the majority of its original exterior and interior fabric remaining intact. Alterations made in the second quarter of the 20th century when the building was converted to retail use are mostly reversible. The black glass storefront is significant in its own right as an unusually well-preserved example of this treatment, one of few extant Streamline Moderne storefronts in Baltimore.

 

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