Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company Headquarters Building, 2 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Independent City, MD
Significance: Historically, this structure was the headquarters of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad. The B&O was significant not only as America's first railroad (founded 1827) but also as the pre-eminent driving force behind Baltimore's importance as a commercial center in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Architecturally, the 1905-6 building's thirteen-story height was a local novelty at the time, and its well-publicized "fireproof" construction was clearly a material reaction to the 1904 Great Fire that destroyed the company's previous headquarters building, two blocks to the east of the present site. The Beaux-Arts design by architects Parker and Thomas of Boston and Baltimore, exemplifies the style which defined the city's rebuilt commercial center, and the building is also the only known Baltimore work of associated architect James Gamble Rogers, who later established a reputation as a premier "image maker" architect for America's corporate elite and for Yale University.
Survey number: HABS MD-1122
Building/structure dates: 1905-1906 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1983-1984 Subsequent Work