Photo credit: P. Sassman , 05/1976

Property Name: Heiser, Rosenfeld, and Strauss Buildings
Date Listed: 3/10/1980
Inventory No.: B-2324, B-2325, B-2323
Location: 32-34, 36-38, 40-42, Paca St., S., Baltimore, Baltimore City

Description: The Inner Harbor Lofts I nomination comprises a complex of three structures historically known as the Heiser Building, the Rosenfeld Building, and the Strauss Building. The three buildings are located at the northwest corner of Lombard and Paca Streets in downtown Baltimore. The Heiser Building, 32-34 South Paca Street, is a six-story structure of brick, stone, and iron, eight bays wide and 14 bays deep. This Romanesque Revival structure was built as a show factory for Charles Heiser in 1886. The Rosenfeld Building, located at 36-38 South Paca Street, is a six-story, five-bay loft building between the Heiser and Strauss buildings, making a row of fairly equally dimensioned loft structures. The building, faced with brick laid in imitation of heavily rusticated stone, has overscaled Beaux Arts styling. The newest structure in the complex, the Rosenfeld Building was built for E. Rosenfeld and Company in 1905. The Strauss Building at 40-42 South Paca Street, is a six-story high, six-bay wide, and eleven-bay deep loft structure. It originally served as two separate facilities, with different addresses. The structure was built in 1887 on the site of the early 19th century Paca Street Church and Burial Ground. The building was originally used by the Kinny Tobacco Company, cigarette manufacturers. M.S. Levy and Sons, manufacturers of straw hats, was located in the building for a few years around 1895. The building was later occupied by the Strauss Brothers, clothing manufacturers. Their building, an excellent example of late Victorian styling executed in brick, terra cotta, and cast iron, also became part of the Rosenfeld complex around 1910.

Significance: The Inner Harbor Lofts are excellent examples of the type of loft structures or vertical manufactories which were concentrated in downtown Baltimore from 1850 to 1910. They are vitally linked to the importance of Baltimore as a major clothing, pharmaceutical, and tobacco products manufacturing center. The Heiser, Rosenfeld, and Strauss buildings were the homes of important local industries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The buildings are also significant as representatives of commercial structures of that era, with styles ranging from Romanesque Revival to Beaux Arts. In particular, the Rosenfeld Building is important as the design of a leading local architectural firm of the early 20th century, Parker and Thomas.




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