I wanted to start this post by saying that bricks get a bad rap, but that’s not entirely true. It’d be more accurate to say that bricks get no rap; they’re so ubiquitous that they’re hardly noticed. On Eager Street, we notice bricks- we’ve salvaged about 40,000 of them so far. Every brick we handle was produced by the Baltimore Brick Company. A larger post dedicated to the BBC is forthcoming, but we thought we’d share this gem we found in the Vertical Files of the Enoch Pratt Library.
The Baltimore Brick Company was presented with the dilemma of fully acknowledging the prosaic and, frankly, boring nature of their product while, well, trying to sell that product. Behold their masterpiece:
“The lowly brick. And yet…A mighty factor in the Progress of Baltimore.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
The building in the illustration is what we now call the Bank of America building, but it was called the Baltimore Trust Building when it was built in 1929. The words “built in 1929” usually spell trouble: the massive cost of construction (around $3 million) collided with the Great Depression, resulting in the eventual bankruptcy of the Baltimore Trust Company. The building was largely vacant within a year.
Eventually the building achieved steady occupancy and became the iconic member of the Baltimore skyline you see in the above photo. It also became a shining 34-story advertisement for the quality product of the Baltimore Brick Company, the same folks who made our bricks on Eager Street. Next up for the copper-peaked beaut: it’s being turned in 445 luxury apartments.