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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Glorian Dorsey, 08/1984
Baltimore City College (Old)
Inventory No.: B-2248
Other Name(s): Bay College; Chesapeake Commons; 1893 Building
Date Listed: 8/11/1983
Location: 530 N. Howard Street, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1895-1899
Architect/Builder: Architects: Baldwin & Pennington; Builder: Henry S. Rippel
Description: City College represents one of the most richly detailed façades to have been designed by E. Francis Baldwin and Josias H. Pennington. It is a red brick Romanesque Revival structure with Beaux Arts Classicism detailing, designed in 1893-1894. It is six stories in height and is marked by square towers flanking a central façade. Both façades and the towers have three-story arches surrounding multiple window openings. The raised base story and entry story are rusticated and separated by composite terra cotta banding from the two-story building shaft. A two-story capital, also of brick, is separated from this shaft by a limestone entablature and is surmounted by a highly decorative frieze and cornice. The roofs are hipped gable with pyramidal roofs on the towers. The main façade on Centre Street is punctuated by an Ionic portico while a secondary Doric portico is located on Howard Street. In October, 1980, the building was damaged by fire. Significance: The Old Baltimore City College Building is architecturally significant as one of the finest public school buildings ever constructed in Baltimore City. It is the design of Baldwin and Pennington, Baltimore’s premier architectural firm of the late 19th century. The structure embodies distinctive architectural characteristics representative of Romanesque Revival and Beaux Arts Classicism styling. These features include elaborate arches, a highly ornamented cornice, and a classical entrance portico. It is one of two public school buildings extant in the downtown area. Baltimore City College, the nation’s third oldest high school, was located here from 1899-1928, its period of greatest growth. It was part of an educational center on Howard Street featuring Baltimore City College (City), The Johns Hopkins University, and the Academy of the Visitation. It is the only surviving structure of this grouping. City College is a significant contribution to the 19th century urban architectural fabric of Baltimore. Among the many famous people who attended City at this location were Theodore McKeldin, an important Mayor and Governor, and Edward Everett Horton, noted actor.


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