The Continental Trust Building, constructed in 1902, is the only building in Baltimore designed by Daniel H. Burnham, a major figure in the Commercial Style that developed in Chicago at the turn of the century and produced the American skyscraper. Burnham's notable works include a number of office buildings in Chicago, the Flatiron Building in New York, Union Station in Washington, D.C., and the 1909 civic improvement plan for Chicago, a landmark in the development of modern city planning.
The interior of this "completely fireproof," 16-story building burned like a torch during the Baltimore fire of 1904. Here the fire reached its hottest point - approximately 2,500?F - and the skyscraper flamed inside from top to bottom.
The exterior, however, survived the fire intact and the building became an object of study among architects and engineers. The major alterations to the building since the Fire was the unfortunate removal of most of its cornice and frieze. The original appearance of the building is shown here.