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

5 Responses to 'Baltimore Trust Building'

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  1. My name is Madelane Coale. I’m writing in regards to the statement made in the above article about the murals done by McGill Mackall. I’ve read elsewhere that the said murals were also worked on by my grandfather, Griffith Baily Coale, MacGill Mackall’s closest friend, and a former Baltimore resident. I live in Washington State, and can’t easily come by for a viewing of the murals. Would it be possible to have someone take pictures of the murals or direct me to a place on the web where the murals might be shown. I would love to be able to see what the murals look like. And see what possible contributions my grandfather might have made.

    Madelane Coale

    14 May 11 at 9:53 am

  2. Thanks for the information. I have two pics of the murals that are not so great. I need to go back with my new camera.

    I’ll look around and see what I can find on the web. Thanks again.


    14 May 11 at 11:41 am

  3. Mackall also painted the vast mural in the War Memorial Building near Baltimore’s City Hall. I wonder if Mr. Coale helped with that as well. I have another not so good pic of it.


    14 May 11 at 11:56 am

  4. I want to thank you for taking the time, to take the pictures. Sorry that it took me so long to reply. I’ve never even seen sketches for any of the paintings, so they are all new to me, how fun! It’s always a thrill for me to see something by my grandfather, that I didn’t know about previous.
    Thanks, Madelane Coale

    Madelane Coale

    16 Apr 12 at 1:25 pm

  5. Hi MCB, I enjoy your blog. Gillie Mackall was my great uncle and I think the Baltimore Trust murals are wonderful. I understand the building was recently sold and the new developer has extensive plans for it. I wrote to the Downtown Partnership several weeks ago to see if they knew anything; they never responded. Do you happen to have any info or can you think of someone who might know what is planned? (I am trying to get some independent feedback before contacting the developer directly.) Thanks!

    Chip Heartfield

    18 Mar 14 at 12:01 pm

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