About the Building

The Lord Baltimore Hotel is an 85-year-old, 23-story building, as well as an unusual work of architecture for Baltimore:

“An octagonal tower is located on the roof. It features brick walls, stone trim, and a copper covered mansard with carved stone Chatausque [sic] dormer windows. Lion with shield pinnacles project above the stone cornice of the tower. Copper finials and cresting complete the mansard roof which also includes a brick smoke stack that projects through the roof at the rear.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel embodies the distinctive architectural characteristics of early twentieth 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 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 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.”

The tower of the Lord Baltimore Hotel adds a special characteristic to this type of hotel and provides the building with greater classical definition. This type of roof tower is rare in Baltimore, making the Lord Baltimore Hotel one of only four highrise buildings in the downtown area with a distinctive roofline. The Maryland National Bank Building and the Tower Building have similar roofs; the Bromo Seltzer Tower is the other highrise building in the downtown area with a distinctive roof design.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel in downtown Baltimore represents the last highrise building constructed with classical details. Later highrise buildings: the Commercial Credit Building, Maryland National Bank, C&P Telephone Building and Hutzler’s Tower are characterized primarily by Art Deco styling rather than classical design. Later highrise buildings are of modern architecture.”

(from 1982 application to National Register of Historic Places)

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