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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Catherine A. Masek, 12/1985
Lord Baltimore Hotel
Inventory No.: B-3720
Date Listed: 12/2/1982
Location: 20 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1928
Architect/Builder: Architect: William L. Stoddart
Description: The Lord Baltimore Hotel is a 22-story, 120’ x 150’ building located at Charles Center in downtown Baltimore. This steel frame structure with a brick veneer and granite base is capped with an octagonal tower and French Renaissance style mansard roof. The base of the building features three large arched multi-paned windows which can be considered Georgian in style. The base is decorated with Indian Head and Lord Baltimore stone medallions. The U-shaped brick shaft which rises above the base is sparsely decorated except for Benedict stone trim on the upper and lower levels and large lion-head stone ornaments at the 17th floor. The tower which caps the building features granite trim at the roof line and a copper covered mansard with carved stone dormers. The major interior spaces, the lobby, main dining room, and Cavalier Room, and banquet hall or grand ballroom, feature Italian Renaissance styling. The 5,377 square foot lobby was originally finished in marble. It has large squared piers with Corinthian capitals, brass chandelier, and is surrounded by a mezzanine. The main dining room off a marble stairway from the lobby features a high ceiling, mirrored transoms, and large windows. The banquet hall on the second floor can seat 1250 people. It features large arched windows and crystal chandeliers. The hotel originally housed 700 rooms, but this has been reduced to the present 600 rooms. Significance: The Lord Baltimore Hotel embodies the distinctive architectural characteristics of early 20th century high rise hotels, reminiscent of such famous American hotels as New York’s Vanderbilt Hotel and Chicago’s Palmer House. Built in a transitional architectural period when classical design was being abandoned in favor of Art Deco and early modernism, the Lord Baltimore Hotel was the last high rise building constructed with classical ornamentation in downtown Baltimore. It is also architecturally significant as the largest hotel building ever constructed in Maryland; one of the four high rise structures in downtown Baltimore with a distinctive roof line; and the design of a noteworthy New York architect who specialized in hotel buildings. The building of the Lord Baltimore Hotel marked a commercial milestone in Baltimore’s history. It was the last of the great downtown hotels constructed before the decline of downtown Baltimore after World War II and until the area’s rebirth with Charles Center, the Inner Harbor, and the construction of new hotels such as the Hilton and Hyatt. The Lord Baltimore alone has survived as a hotel throughout this entire period. This immense building will soon undergo a renovation which will retain the classicism of the past while modernizing its services to fulfill an increasing demand for quality hotel space in downtown Baltimore.


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