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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Betty Bird, 11/1999
One Charles Center
Inventory No.: B-4480
Date Listed: 7/13/2000
Location: 100 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1962
Architect/Builder: Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Description: One Charles Center, designed by Mies van der Rohe, is a 23 story aluminum and glass International Style office building constructed in 1962. The first modernistic office tower in Baltimore and the keynote of the city’s nationally recognized downtown urban renewal movement. A concrete-faced podium topped by a paved plaza forms the base for the T-shaped office tower, which is of reinforced concrete construction. The podium was designed to house retail space and underground parking. One Charles Center is situated between the older 19th and earlier 20th century buildings that line Charles Street and more recent International Style buildings that comprise Charles Center, the downtown urban renewal project. The interior of the office tower consists of an open, glazed lobby construction around the service core of the building. Alterations to the building include removal of the floating stair on the west side of the building, replacement of the travertine paving and marble cladding on the podium, demolition of a plaza-level bridge on the south side of the building, and reworking of the materials for the upper floor elevator cores. None of these changes affects the overall historic character of the office tower. Significance: Constructed in 1962 as the first building of downtown Baltimore’s urban renewal movement, One Charles Center was designed by noted International Style architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The first of two buildings Mies van der Rohe designed in Baltimore, One Charles Center is significant as the work of a master. Although One Charles Center is less than 50 years old, Mies’ recognized stature and the building’s pioneering role in introducing International Style modernism to Baltimore make the speculative high rise office building exceptionally significant. The building derives additional significance for its role in the early stage of Baltimore’s downtown renaissance, which has been noted in the literature of urban planning. The period of significance of this locally important resource extends from its date of construction in 1962 to 1968, when riots following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. undermined the ideals of the urban renewal movement.

 

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