This building, designed in 1889 in the Richardson-Sullivan tradition by Charles L. Carson and Joseph Evans Sperry, was considered the first skyscraper to be erected in Baltimore. It is the oldest of the existing structures on Monument Square and once featured Turkish baths in the basement and a garden on the roof. Following the "cage form" of construction, a network of cast-iron columns and steel girders supported the floor-loads and interior of the building, while the exterior walls were entirely self-supporting.
During the Great Fire of 1904, must of the interior was damaged. The exterior walls, however, emerged relatively unscathed, and the building was immediately reconditioned by the owners.
Formerly on this site, from 1825 to 1889, stood Barnum's City Hote, internationally renowned for elegant accomodations, gracious service and excellent cuisine - including the famous diamondback terrapins which were exercised daily in the courtyard before being condemned to dinner.