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FBG Project D-023
In February 1904, Baltimore was struck by a massive fire that destroyed or damaged some 2,500 buildings. It was one of several “great fires” in the era that led to greater use of steel, brick and concrete “fireproof” construction. FBG was on the ground within days, securing contracts, but in the end he would build only fourprojects there (in 1904 or any other time).
This project was a 5-story office building (6 stories in some accounts) plus basement, with a brick, iron and stone front, steam heat and two elevators, at the southeast corner of Baltimore and Hanover streets
Most notices say the job is for one James Piper, but a more detailed clip makes it clear that the principals were Dr. Jackson Piper and his children James (later James Sr) and Adaline. James Piper Sr. (1874-1965) was a young attorney and research shows several law firms called the Piper Building home. Piper had a distinguished 60-year career in Baltimore.
The building no longer exists and little additional information has been located.
A somewhat peculiar notice of offices to let in the building, with FBG listed as agent, ran for some time across the late summer and fall. An example is included below.
Demolished, date unknown.
Baltimore Sun, 28 Apr 1904: “FBG has erected 70-foot derrick; construction will commence as soon as the agitation over the widening of Baltimore Street is settled.” [Other notices indicate that the city took some setback to widen the street, changing and delaying early construction efforts.]
Baltimore Sun, 7 May 1904: “FBG started to lay brick yesterday.”
Baltimore Sun, 24 May 1904: “Job held up by nondelivery of structural iron, expected to be brief.”