The Mind and Materials Behind the Building

The architect of the Lord Baltimore Hotel was William L. Stoddart:

“In the late 1920’s, W.L. Stoddart, a New york architect, was hired to design a new hotel – the largest ever built in the State of Maryland – on the site of the Caswell Hotel and two adjoining commercial buildings.

William Lee Stoddart was born in Tenafly, New Jersey in 1869 and studied architecture at Columbia University. After 1908, he worked under his own name specializing in hotel architecture. Among the many hotels he designed are the Francis Marion in Charleston, South Carolina…the Penn-Harris Hotel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; the Yorktown Hotel in York, Pennsylvania; and the Tutweiler in Birmingham, Alabama (associate architect with William Welton), demolished in 1970. Stoddart also designed the Federal Building in East Akron, Ohio, and many banks. He died in 1940.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel can be considered his finest achievement. The building was designed in a style which was popular for large urban hotels of the early twentieth century. The buildings are characterized by a base featuring stone ornamentation taking up the entire site of the building and housing lobby, street level stores, and major public meeting and banquet spaces. Rising above the base are two or more brick shafts in a “U” or “E” shape which house the sleeping rooms for guests. The shape of this brick shaft provided light and ventilation for the guest rooms. Large hotels of this type, such as the Palmer House in Chicago and the Vanderbilt Hotel in New York, were designed in an “E” shape because of their size. The Conrad Hilton Hotel of Chicago is an extreme example of this type of building where numerous brick shafts are needed considering the enormous amount of guest rooms. The brick shafts of these hotels are sparsely ornamented, however all feature stone decoration at the roof line to cap the building. While the exteriors of these hotels feature restrained classical ornamentation, the major interior public spaces were lavishly decorated.” (from 1982 National Register application)

Many local suppliers were used for the building materials:

“Stone made in Baltimore by the Benedict Stone Co. and set by the Consolidated Engineering Co.

Brick from the Excelsior Brick Co.

Sand from the Arundel Sand & Gravel Company.

Cement from the Union Bridge plant of the Lehigh Portland Cement Co.

Glass from the Baltimore branch of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.

Plastering by J.H. Hampshire, Inc.

Painting and Decorating by the H. Chambers Co.

Plumbing, heating, ventilating and vacuum cleaning systems by Lloyd E. Mitchell, Inc.

Cold storage boxes by Ottenheimer Bros. and the Livezey Co.

Refrigerating plant and ice tanks by Chatard & Norris.

Sheet metal and roofing by W.A. Fingles Company.

Electric wiring by Blumenthal-Kahn Electric Co.

Interior tiling by the Maryland Lime & Cement Co.

Brick work, reinforced concrete floors, foundations, interior partitions, excavating, wrecking and carpentry by the Consolidated Engineering Co, with Baltimore labor throughout.”

1928 LBH to open Dec 1 p2 local products

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