Mark R. Edwards
Old Pine Street Station
214, Pine St., N., Baltimore, Baltimore City
The "Pine Street Station" is a freestanding building of two stories raised on a partially exposed basement. Its style is quintessential brick Victorian Gothic as employed in the design of civic and commercial architecture during the 1870s. The building consists of three sections arranged telescopically on a common east-west center axis, the front on the west side of Pine Street being the tallest and widest section and decreasing successively in both width and height west toward the rear. The front section contains a large room on each of the three floors; the middle section contains a central stair hall with smaller service rooms on either side; and the rear section, longer in its original configuration, contained the jail. The construction is of brick exterior walls with wood framed floors and roofs. Although deteriorated, the original structural and detail fabric appears to be sound and intact---the exception being the rear section which was truncated from six bays to one bay in 1978.
At the time of its construction in 1877-1878, the new Western District Police Station House not only signified new programs of the City of Baltimore to serve the demands created by the city’s burgeoning commercial development; but also it reflected in the most current terms the civic and commercial architecture of the period. Today, the building has become a significant landmark as a result of its notable design and its setting along a well-traveled thoroughfare which passes between two nationally recognized historic districts. As such, it is a preeminent artifact of the city’s emergence as a metropolis and a representation of the present’s predilection for historic preservation.