Loft Historic District North
Baltimore, Baltimore City
The Loft Historic District North includes 12 large brick manufacturing buildings centering on Paca, Redwood, and Eutaw Streets near the University of Maryland Campus in downtown Baltimore. Most of the buildings are still used for manufacturing purposes, although a few have been converted into loft apartments or offices. These late 19th-early 20th century vertical manufactories are stylistically representative of Romanesque, Victorian, and early modern industrial architectural design. All of the buildings are from five to seven stories in height. They feature a variety of architectural details including decorative brickwork; rough stone archways, sills, and lintels; terra cotta decoration; square and rounded brick pilasters; cast iron storefronts; and rooftop water tanks. The buildings have had only minor alterations, and there is a high degree of integrity within the area. This is the largest concentration of loft-type structures in downtown Baltimore although some individual buildings and small groupings of this type survive in the surrounding area which is primarily characterized by University of Maryland buildings, smaller commercial structures, and new construction. All of the buildings within the district boundaries contribute to the character of the historic district.
The Loft Historic District North area is architecturally significant for its excellent, massive, brick vertical manufactories which date from 1870-1915 and represent the finest collection of large, Victorian, Romanesque, and early modern industrial design in Baltimore. They are the works of important local architects including George Frederick, Parker & Thomas, Charles L. Carson, and Charles Cassell. The buildings are noteworthy as local adaptations of industrial designs in other American cities by such noteworthy nationally important architects as H. H. Richardson. Many have fine architectural features such as cast iron storefronts that are among the best examples of this building element in Baltimore City. Historically, this area housed some of Baltimore’s leading industrial firms, especially clothing manufacturers. It was in this area that Baltimore’s garment industry grew to national importance. The district takes in some of the most notable firms of the late 19th century Baltimore industry including E. Rosenfeld & Company, Hamburger Brothers, Brigham Hopkins Company, Strauss Brothers, and M. S. Levy & Sons. The district is also associated with the important people who owned and ran these companies. These individuals were among Baltimore’s business, civic, and social leaders that helped guide the city’s development in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.