When this structure was completed in 1911, it was Baltimore's tallest office building. Of steel construction, faced with Bedford limestone on the lower floors, and brick and terra cotta above, the building stands as a monument of sorts to the whims of newspaper magnate Frank Munsey.
Known as the "dealer in dailies," and the "undertaker of journalism" for his cavalier buying and selling of papers, Munsey bought the News (forerunner of the News American) in 1908. He thus became the first non-resident owner of the newspaper since its inception. Munsey scorned the News building that previously stood on this site and decided to replace it a mere five years after its erection with the current building that bears his name.
The local architectural firm of Baldwin & Pennington, together with McKim, Mead & White of New York design the building. The Munsey Trust Company opened the ground floor in 1913. In 1915, the bank became the Equitable Trust Company with Munsey as the chairman of the board. The News continued to publish here until its move in 1924 to Pratt and Commerce Streets.