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About Us

History

Originally home to the Baltimore City College, the building was designed by the city's premier architects in the late nineteenth century and served as one of the first public high schools in the country.

The exterior with its rich ornamentation, along with some interior brick walls, original wainscoting and tin ceilings were preserved. A complete new interior was built featuring the most uncommon contemporary elements.

Culture

Chesapeake Commons remains an outstanding architectural achievement in Baltimore's West Side Renaissance. Bordering the historic neighborhoods of Seton Hill and prestigious Mt. Vernon, Chesapeake Commons is ideally situated amidst the city's premier cultural and education institutions and attractions

  • Meyerhoff Concert Hall
  • Lyric Opera House
  • Walters Art Museum
  • University of Maryland Graduate Schools campus

Shops, theatres, museums, concert halls and first class restaurants are all within walking distance. Just up the street, the city's Meyerhoff Concert Hall is home to the world class Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The city's acclaimed Center Stage repertory theater and the Walter's Art Museum, as well as the popular Inner Harbor pavilions with more shops and restaurants are also nearby.

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From High School to Rental Apartments

In the early years of the nineteenth century, the burgeoning port city of Baltimore felt a responsibility to expand its free public school system to accommodate the growing numbers of residents drawn by the flourishing shipping industry, Although this attention was limited at that time to the education of white males, it was nevertheless a pioneering venture. In 1839, the Baltimore City College, a public high school was founded as the third oldest public high school in the country.  After several moves, it settled at what is now City Hall Plaza in 1843.

A new City College building was completed in 1875, but that building was condemned in 1892 because the construction of a tunnel weakened the building's foundation. Immediately afterward, in 1893, the Baltimore School Board called for a new building to "increase the number of classrooms, and to furnish more light and ventilation, and other facilities which are essential for the future success of the college." The commission for this task was given to the firm of Baldwin and Pennington, Baltimore's premier architects of the late nineteenth century. The firm designed many of Baltimore's more significant buildings, including the Maryland Club, the Fidelity Building, the Mount Royal Station, the Camden Station, and part of the Pier Four Power Plant.

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