It was a rainy weekend, so I was content to stay inside and do some work for the Baltimore Architecture Foundation. Last week, we were all set to leave a meeting there when the skies opened up and we got about 1.5 inches of rain in an hour. So while we were waiting for the rain to end, the other members of the Board and I went through some boxes of archival materials which had been donated to us.
Some of the boxes were filled with 8x10 black and white images of buildings around the city, none of which were marked. So on this rainy afternoon, I set to work identifying the buildings and putting labels on each of the 200+ pictures.I could identify about 2/3 of the buildings just by sight. Another dozen or so took some hunting for clues. And each person who’s looked at the images has provided me with an additional piece or two of information.A number of the pictures were of churches, and some of those had signs like the one above. But in an 8x10 picture, that piece was probably about 3/4 of an inch. So I pulled out my camera and took a picture of the sign on the macro setting. I enlarged it on my computer and in most cases I was able to read it. However, in the 30+ years since these images were taken, there have been many changes. Churches have moved or are no longer in existence, or building have disappeared altogether. In other pictures, I could figure out the location from the surrounding buildings.
I thought I had an idea of where this lovely little place was, but took a drive downtown to confirm what I thought – that the building being erected in this image is an “air rights” building. The new building occupies the air rights over the older one, so it has more space and keeps a smaller footprint, and an old building is not demolished.
I did have a couple of favourites amongst this group if images…
Furness House has always been one of the top buildings on my love list. Every single thing about this (except the car) just ticks my boxes. I can’t remember if the urns are still along the roofline, so I will have to check next time I am down that way. I’d convert this to a house in a heartbeat. It looks like something you’d find down a narrow lane in London.
I fell madly in love with this building, but I can’t identify it. It appears to be a café of some sort, and there’s a sign right above the center doorway, but since it’s at a right angle to the building, I can’t read it. The other signs on the right side don’t tell much, and there’s a reflection in the windows saying “Hardware Fair” but I can’t locate any information about where that would have been in the early 1980’s.
The thing I loved about this building was the series of drawn shades on the second floor, as well as the cast iron arches above all of the windows and the goose-neck lamps illuminating the front of the café. I think that the person who lived above the café must have been pretty interesting if they made the effort to have Greek Key style shades in all nine of the windows. I also imagine that it was a pretty big space.
I am searching for more clues about the location of this building and am hoping that it’s still extant somewhere in Baltimore. If you’ve got any clues, let me know!