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Old July 10th, 2007, 07:09 PM   #4781
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Old July 10th, 2007, 07:47 PM   #4782
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The interior to the auditorium looks awesome!
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Old July 10th, 2007, 07:58 PM   #4783
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Originally Posted by Hugh Jaramillo View Post
It seems like Hopkins or Loyola should have a use for it but neither has jumped at the opportunity so far.
Don't think Loyola has the scratch or inclination to take on the building. Hopkins? Hmmmm. Here's a question for everyone: which one of these JHU centers, institutes, or affiliates would be the best fit for that building (assuming adding much more parking to the site is unlikely, thus unfortunately ruling out moving the Shriver Hall programs there)?
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Old July 10th, 2007, 08:11 PM   #4784
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Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Don't think Loyola has the scratch or inclination to take on the building. Hopkins? Hmmmm. Here's a question for everyone: which one of these JHU centers, institutes, or affiliates would be the best fit for that building (assuming adding much more parking to the site is unlikely, thus unfortunately ruling out moving the Shriver Hall programs there)?
Hopkins seems to have money for anything they decide they want. They didn't seem even break a sweat when they bought their campus in Mount Washington. I think the largest impediment to re-use of the building will be perception issues, parking being a big one. That will be an issue for nearby Guilford residents. I am saying perception, however, since the building HAS been in use for decades and Hopkins has games in the stadium that is almost across the street and somehow the neighborhood seems to continue. I didn't know it had a large autitorium but that might be an intersting musical venue. Problem is, again, however, that my guess is that if it were for anything more "roudy" than chamber music, the Guilford people would freak out again. Perception and the impact on a quiet, preppy lifestyle will be everything in this project.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 08:43 PM   #4785
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Hopkins seems to have money for anything they decide they want.
Right.

So, the question is, what would they want there?

Even if parking (and the neighbors) weren't an issue, moving Shriver Hall performances there would mean a large, largely empty building for a large part of the year. Also, Shriver holds 1,118, so if the SRTFM holds 1,500 (not certain), they'd be dropping a lot of dough for 382 additional seats in an off-campus location ... right as they're wrapping up work on a 600-car garage next to Shriver under Decker Quad.

It's a great, high-visibility spot for an institute, center or affiliate. But which one?
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Old July 10th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #4786
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Don't think Loyola has the scratch or inclination to take on the building. Hopkins? Hmmmm. Here's a question for everyone: which one of these JHU centers, institutes, or affiliates would be the best fit for that building (assuming adding much more parking to the site is unlikely, thus unfortunately ruling out moving the Shriver Hall programs there)?
NONE! I still vote for the Baltimore Museum of Art to take it over. It would be a great annex building for them giving them much needed room to expand. Their original building currently has 4 or 5 additions tacked onto it. If they continue down that path, the original building won't even be recognizable. At one time, they were talking about expanding into Wyman Park Dell. They could split their collection. Let the Scottish Rite Temple house their modern art collection. Ths same architect designed both structures BTW.

I called the museum and spoke to someone in the Director's office. The Director is aware that the building is available, however the person I spoke with wasn't "privy" to any discussions regarding it. She told me that she would "pass on my input".


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Scottish Rite

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; July 10th, 2007 at 09:07 PM.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #4787
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NONE! I still vote for the Baltimore Museum of Art to take it over. It would be a great annex building for them giving them much needed room to expand.
Respectfully disagree. It would be an lovely limestone albatross whose renovation and upkeep would be the bane of the BMA's finances. (Unless there's some Getty-sized philanthropist waiting to underwrite this.)

But, to your point about the BMA running out of room: if they were to rehouse their modern collection, they'd want to head to the waterfront, as the Tate did ... perhaps brokering a deal for space with whomever develops the land next to the Fire Department building on Key Highway which Mayor Dixon has promised to keep as open space. That space could be the entrance court/sculpture garden for the museum.

Incidentally, where do you draw the line at "modern"? Moving the Cone Collection would take away a pretty big draw at the current location.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 09:47 PM   #4788
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Respectfully disagree. It would be an lovely limestone albatross whose renovation and upkeep would be the bane of the BMA's finances. (Unless there's some Getty-sized philanthropist waiting to underwrite this.)

But, to your point about the BMA running out of room: if they were to rehouse their modern collection, they'd want to head to the waterfront, as the Tate did ... perhaps brokering a deal for space with whomever develops the land next to the Fire Department building on Key Highway which Mayor Dixon has promised to keep as open space. That space could be the entrance court/sculpture garden for the museum.

Incidentally, where do you draw the line at "modern"? Moving the Cone Collection would take away a pretty big draw at the current location.
The BMA turns 100 in 2014 and they are completely out of space. They have started planning to add over 112,000 additional square feet. Since they are land locked, they have no place to expand to except underground or on city park land. Also, they are located in a relatively dense area of the city. The residents who use that park will not be happy campers when it is paved over. Believe it or not, Wyman Park has an awful lot of users.

http://www.asg-architects.com/story/...icle062305.pdf

What about the next 100 years? I don't think a waterfront site can be had for 10 to 15 million dollars. If they spent 11 million dollars now, they can get a 4 acre site, AND a beautiful builidng within easy walking distance of their current building. Once they control the property, then it is a matter of launching a capital improvement campaign to raise money for a complete rehab of the mechanicals and security. According to the Sun, the reason it is expensive to maintian is because nothing has been upgraded in 50 years. Half the building isn't even air conditioned.

With new mechanicals, I still think that it would be cheaper than buying a waterfront site and building a new signature structrue from scratch. Just a guess though!

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; July 10th, 2007 at 10:46 PM.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:35 PM   #4789
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Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Eh. They're giving up their pricey water view (maybe) and snuggling into an uglier building. Distance to the water's edge is about the same, perhaps even a little closer.
I actually work at Semmes and the real reasons we are moving was that we are totally out of space at 250 W. Pratt. Also, there is no space for use to expand in as well in this building. Our option was to move and our new building has much larger floors that can more easily accomodate us. Also, our new building has been recently upgraded and is much nicer than our current address, although the buildings exterior is quite stark.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:37 PM   #4790
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AND OLD FRIEND RE-APPEARS!

In this week's BBJ there is a nice article about the redo of the old 1st National Bank branch that is located on the first floor of their old headquarters building at Redwood and Light Streets.

The Baltimore Municipal Credit Union is spending $1.8 million to rehab it. In my opinion the most beautiful banking space in the city is the old Maryland National, now Bank of America, building next door. First National is a close second. If you have never been to either space, they are both well worth a look. Both are full of marble and bronze and they are about 4 stories tall. (I got yelled at for taking a picture in the Bank of America - security you know. Still, I got the picture.)

The 1st National branch has been closed for almost 15 years. It will be great to see it open for business again! It's located in the highrise building in the foreground below.

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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #4791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Right.

So, the question is, what would they want there?

Even if parking (and the neighbors) weren't an issue, moving Shriver Hall performances there would mean a large, largely empty building for a large part of the year. Also, Shriver holds 1,118, so if the SRTFM holds 1,500 (not certain), they'd be dropping a lot of dough for 382 additional seats in an off-campus location ... right as they're wrapping up work on a 600-car garage next to Shriver under Decker Quad.

It's a great, high-visibility spot for an institute, center or affiliate. But which one?
I was wrong about the seating capacity of that auditorium in the Scottish Rites temple. Here's a recent article about it from the Baltimore Messenger:
Masonic temple's future is uncertain

05/09/07
By Adam Bednar and Larry Perl



Facing high maintenance costs and an aging, dwindling membership, the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, a fixture at 3800 North Charles St., is for sale, according to a posting on the group's Web site.

"As far as any changes in the sale of the building, at present, there is little interest," Sovereign Grand Master Inspector General Orient of Maryland Hans Wilhelmsen said on the group's Web site. He could not be reached for comment.

Wilhelmsen also said on the Web site, "The day will come when we need to downsize due to the high cost of maintenance of our beautiful temple" in Tuscany- Canterbury.

Bill Pencek, director of the Baltimore City Heritage Area, which attempts to preserve historic sites for tourism, said he spoke with the Masons about the planned sale of the 75-year-old, Italian Renaissance building with six 34-foot-high Corinthian columns.

"The conversations are expressions of concern about the future of the building," he said.

City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said she is concerned that the building has not been designated as a historical landmark, "so it could be demolished."

Carl Hyman, president of the Tuscany-Canterbury Neighborhood Association, said his group has had no direct contact with the Masons about the sale, but the community is worried about the future of the building.

The association "does want to preserve the architectural heritage and integrity of the property," as well as "the rich architecture of the neighborhood," Hyman said.

Architects Clyde Friz and Russell Pope designed the temple. Pope, who was a member of the Masons, also designed the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

The Masonic Center features a banquet room 138 feet long and 78 feet wide, a main lobby featuring marble walls and an auditorium that can seat up to 1,065 people.
The building has played host to performances, award banquets, weddings and proms.

"Celebrate your most memorable event at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center," announces the Web site www.scottishriterentals.com. "Located in the most prestegious neighborhood in Baltimore, the Scottish Rite Masonic Center offers beautiful grounds and a historic environment for any type of event. Discover why others claim there is no other place in Baltimore like the Scottish Rite Masonic Center."

A Mason from Little Rock, Ark., has agreed to buy the building if no other buyer can be found, Clarke said. She said she did not know his name.

As of the first of the year, the building was valued at $4.1 million, according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation Web site.

Clarke said the Masons are seeking $8.5 million for the building, but that could not be confirmed.

"They have made it publicly known that they want to sell," Clarke said. "The average age of their membership is very high. Most of the members don't even live in the city. It's just a big place for a diminishing population."

There is no way that the BMA would ever want to move their modern art collection into that building, primarily because modern art needs a lot of space to exhibit/house the monumentaly ugly "art" works. Also it would be odd to house that type of art in a classically inspired building like the Scottish Rites, not to mention the prohibitive cost of retrofitting a space that large for a museum.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #4792
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Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
The BMA turns 100 in 2014 and they are completely out of space.
Many good points in that post. Was never a fan of the proposed incursion into the Dell (I like American beeches, many of which would have had to have been whacked under that plan). Would love to see a user like the BMA in the SRTFM. Just doesn't make sense financially at this time. The BMA isn't as wealthy (and therefore as nimble in their ability to acquire and maintain property) as Hopkins. Per the linked Gunts' article, they've done their master plan for expanding by 112,000 s.f. at the current location and are preparing a capital campaign for that. Their board (which has to do the heavy lifting in the fundraising effort) will keep them focused on that goal. Hopkins is wrapping up a $2B campaign; the BMA will need to bust a hump to raise even a fraction of that. (Background: I'm now working on my third capital campaign.)

However, once that pig is through the python, perhaps they could ponder a place at the SRTFM if, in the mean time, Hopkins has bought it. BMA could become a tenant, with an option to buy.

Also: expanding to the harbor would be contingent on a deal with the city and a developer to exchange a chunk of space for, say, a few more floors above the height limit. I'd hate to see Domino's factory close, but if they did, maybe the BMA could do a MassMOCA in the factory space, if the developer got the rights to build a high-rise with atop garage in the parking area behind it.

The idea, of course, is to take advantage of all the visitors at the harbor; unfortunately, SRTFM doesn't have a ready-made group of prospective peeps passing by.

Last edited by jamie_hunt; July 10th, 2007 at 11:09 PM.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:52 PM   #4793
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Originally Posted by Fells28 View Post
I actually work at Semmes and the real reasons we are moving was that we are totally out of space at 250 W. Pratt. Also, there is no space for use to expand in as well in this building. Our option was to move and our new building has much larger floors that can more easily accomodate us. Also, our new building has been recently upgraded and is much nicer than our current address, although the buildings exterior is quite stark.
Good data. So the "moving from the waterfront" theme of the original article was a canard?
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:58 PM   #4794
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Originally Posted by Hugh Jaramillo View Post
[snip]"As far as any changes in the sale of the building, at present, there is little interest," Sovereign Grand Master Inspector General Orient of Maryland Hans Wilhelmsen said on the group's Web site.[snip]
Best. Title. Ever.

(Okay. That makes three posts in a row. I'm done for today. Promise.)
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Old July 11th, 2007, 03:19 AM   #4795
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Hey guys. Computer has been on the fritz lately. Better now.

Here is some interesting news I received in a recent e-mail. I e-mailed the Cordish Company concerning the article in the Sun that reported their 701 East Baltimore Street tower project being reduced in scale.

David Cordish's responce:

Steve,



If you believe what you read in The Sun, Lord help you.



David Cordish


Sounds encouraging to me. Like the project has NOT been reduced in any way.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 04:23 AM   #4796
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cool response!! now, i'm more than anxious to see how this project's gonna' turn out. i got a feelin' that it's definitely gonna' be taller than the 34 stories originally proposed. having a lucky strike is gonna' be cool to have around too. i've been to the one in DC. it's nice!

Last edited by MasonsInquiries; July 11th, 2007 at 01:05 PM.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 05:28 AM   #4797
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Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
NONE! I still vote for the Baltimore Museum of Art to take it over. It would be a great annex building for them giving them much needed room to expand. Their original building currently has 4 or 5 additions tacked onto it. If they continue down that path, the original building won't even be recognizable. At one time, they were talking about expanding into Wyman Park Dell. They could split their collection. Let the Scottish Rite Temple house their modern art collection. Ths same architect designed both structures BTW.

I called the museum and spoke to someone in the Director's office. The Director is aware that the building is available, however the person I spoke with wasn't "privy" to any discussions regarding it. She told me that she would "pass on my input".....
I really can't see the BMA moving part of their collection into a building that wasn't intended as a museum, 3/4 of a mile away. That just doesn't make sense, even if the building is available, even for free. The entire mason's building would probably need to be gutted and rebuilt into galleries with lighting and climate control. They don't have money to be doing something like that and the people who come to the museum would probably not respond well to having to walk, drive or ride some sort of tram up the hill to another building. The BMA isn't a huge museum, but one of its assets is the ability to span a bunch of different collections in a small area that you can see on a Sunday afternoon.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 05:41 AM   #4798
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Right.

So, the question is, what would they want there?

Even if parking (and the neighbors) weren't an issue, moving Shriver Hall performances there would mean a large, largely empty building for a large part of the year. Also, Shriver holds 1,118, so if the SRTFM holds 1,500 (not certain), they'd be dropping a lot of dough for 382 additional seats in an off-campus location ... right as they're wrapping up work on a 600-car garage next to Shriver under Decker Quad.

It's a great, high-visibility spot for an institute, center or affiliate. But which one?
Maybe what we need is a buyer who has an old fraternal organization with mysterious beginnings, a quiet, well heeled membership that needs a building for ceremonial purposes....oops, we have that. So JHU won't want it for a theater, BMA won't divide their collection, Guilford won't want anything loud that uses up their parking...the options are slimming. Time for some more brainstorming...just what DO you do with an old Roman temple?
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Old July 11th, 2007, 09:00 AM   #4799
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Maybe what we need is a buyer who has an old fraternal organization with mysterious beginnings, a quiet, well heeled membership that needs a building for ceremonial purposes....oops, we have that. So JHU won't want it for a theater, BMA won't divide their collection, Guilford won't want anything loud that uses up their parking...the options are slimming. Time for some more brainstorming...just what DO you do with an old Roman temple?
That interior is cool. Seems to me the best reuse would be for some sort of performing arts venue.

Or how about this...I noticed it also contains a banquet hall. So someone with vision (say, the guy who owns the Martins catering halls) could use the auditorium for weddings and then the reception could move into the hall.

Could also make a good conference center.
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Old July 11th, 2007, 11:48 AM   #4800
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cool response!! now, i'm more than anxious to see how this project's gonna' turn out. i got a feelin' that it's definitely gonna' be taller than the 34 stories originally proposed. having a lucky strike is gonna' be cool to have around too. i've been to the one in DC. it's nice!:okay"
I agree. It sounds very good. I think this news deserves a few bananas...
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