Photo credit: Breck Chapman , 02/2004

Property Name: Woman's Industrial Exchange
Date Listed: 12/19/1978
Inventory No.: B-2185
Location: 333, Charles St., N., Baltimore, Baltimore City

Description: The Woman’s Industrial Exchange is housed in a modified early 19th century townhouse. A large, five-story structure of later date is appended to the rear. The buildings occupy a rear-sloping corner site, with the southern side exposed. Facing Charles Street with a three-bay façade, this building has a granite base and a Flemish bond brick wall surface. Two marble steps lead to the round-arched entranceway in the left bay. The doorway is framed with simple limestone pilasters with square caps, which support a limestone frame running along the intrados of the gauged brick arch. Double doors of wood and glass fill the entranceway and are surmounted by a semicircular, wood-framed transom of plain glass. The other two bays are occupied by a single arched display window, which was added about 1900. The windows on the second and third floors have splayed jack arches and marble sills. Although the sash are 6/6 on both the second and third floors, those on the third floor are shorter than their counterparts below. A plain wood cornice and fascia terminate the façade. The slate gable roof has a single wood dormer above the entrance bay. The Pleasant Street façade has two parts: the original rowhouse gable end and a five-story attached rear structure built about 1910. The basement level of the rowhouse has a small shop with a bay window and canopied entrance. The rear addition, 8 bays long, is of common bond brick.

Significance: The Woman’s Industrial Exchange originated after the Civil War as a means for impoverished women to sell baked goods and handcrafts, and survives to the present on its original principles requiring consignment of goods which meet certain standards. The building was erected about 1815 as a private residence and later became a boarding house. The Exchange acquired the building in 1899 and has remained there to the present. Except for the addition of the display window, the façade of the 1815 structure has remained mostly unchanged since construction. The brick was painted and the windows had louvered shutters around the turn of the century, but these have since been removed.




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