BNHA Alexander Brown and Sons Building
National Register of Historic Places
Shaping a Monumental City: The City’s Growth in the 20th Century
Points of Interest
135 E Baltimore St
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
The Alexander Brown and Sons Building is an impressive symbol of the commercial importance of both the firm and the city of Baltimore during the 19th century.
Alexander Brown was an Irishman from Belfast. He settled in Baltimore in 1800 to further his already vigorous textile trade with Europe. Soon after his arrival, he issued letters of credit from his firm that financed textile trading by American traders and eventually by merchants and shippers in Liverpool—hence the firm's tradition as an investment bank. Alexander Brown and Sons helped finance the B&O Railroad as well as many public utilities, including the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company. Deutsche Bank Securities acquired the firm in 1998.
This impressive building was built in 1901 as a statement of the company's importance and stability 100 years after its founding. The present banking house was one of the few buildings to survive the Baltimore Fire of 1904. Brick, stone and copper were used for exterior construction. The building’s style is a synthesis of two revival styles, the Georgian and Renaissance. A central stained-glass dome and marble columns dominate the interior while bronze and copper tiles embellish the floor. The structure was the first in the country to be heated with electricity. The building continues to operate as a bank. It was designated a city landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.