Monument City Blog

Branches of Baltimore History

Baltimore Trust Building

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The Baltimore Trust Building (or Bank of America Building) is located downtown across W. Baltimore Street from the William Donald Schaefer Tower. Built between 1924-1929 by the architects Taylor, Fisher, Smith and May, the ‘setback’ style skyscraper is a monument to the financial history of Charm City. As the Great Depression materialized the building’s occupant, the Baltimore Trust Company, went into bankruptcy, eventually vacating the tower by 1935. The virtually brand new Mayan Revival structure stood empty just six years after its completion. Maryland’s Public Works Administration moved in shortly after under the direction of FDR and his New Deal. By 1961, with the country’s economy stabilized, the Maryland National Bank purchased the structure. In 1993 the Bank of America acquired Maryland National, turning the 37-floor building into its downtown office.

The skyscraper is decorated inside and out with various sculptures and paintings. Mayan statues stare down to the street from above while significant relief work surrounds the entrance ways to the bank’s main lobby. One relief shows the old Baltimore Trust Bank being protected by a God during the Great Fire of 1904. The bank’s much smaller former building was spared when most of downtown went up in devastating flames. The building’s large open-space lobby contains murals depicting significant Baltimore events by local artists Robert McGill Mackall and Griffith Baily Coale.

Written by monumentcity

April 14th, 2010 at 5:45 am