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Wednesday, December 21, 2005


300 E. Lombard

300 E. Lombard wavy facade
The Baltimore skyline, in my humble opinion, suffers from a dearth of decent architecture.

As I've said before, my admitedly untutored view of what makes for good architecture is strikingly similar to Justice Potter Stewart's famous take on pornography - "I know it when I see it."

And in strolling around downtown Baltimore over the past few months, I ain't seen it.

At least not much.

Most of the structures built during the '60s, '70's and early '80s are unimaginative glass-and-steel or masonry-and-glass variations on the International Style. That is, one building looks pretty much like the box that the neighboring building came in.

Harborplace, the early-1980's development of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, is an exception to the Baltimore Bad Architecture rule. The original buildings, two low-rise retail pavillions set at right angles along a nicely-bricked waterfront, was innovative for its time. It still looks pretty nice.

300 E. Lombard - approaching from the east along Lombard St.Yesterday, I was meeting a collegue for lunch a few blocks from where I work, and I happened to walk by 300 E. Lombard Street, brick office tower with a distictive wavy facade. I'd walked by this one many times before, but must have had my head down. For Baltimore, this is a pretty nice building!

I walked right up to the curve in the facade and looked straight up - cool! Definitely a photographer's target. Also, approaching the buliding from the east along Lombard street, you're treated to a nice brick-and-dark-window banding effect - clevely offset-doubled because of the wavy front side of the structured.

A little research turned up the fact that the building was built in the early 1980's and originally a Rouse Company property, Rouse being the very same developer of Harborplace.

Nice job!

Interestingly, Steve, I am drawn to architecture more than to almost anything else in a city. Maybe I was an architect in my past life! So I love these shots. Thanks.
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