These may not be accurate; improvements may have been made. After all, a light rail system traverses the street.

Not being sarcastic; that often helps. It gentrifies the area, and the disorder and abandonment decrease.

I don’t know why I ended up here; perhaps it was the peculiar nature of the abandonment, which is different than small towns. It's messier, and bigger. Grand ruins are more disheartening than small ones.


Whatever its last use was, not a trace is left.

Someone long ago thought this was an improvement on an old classic industrial / commercial facade:
Someone was wrong.
Next door, this gutted thing, looking as if it would prefer just to collapse and be spared any more of this pain.
"Howard Street as the center of upscale department and specialty store shopping until decline and eventual store closures in the 1970s."

Some places still look as if you could bring them back with a snap of your fingers, or look as if they’re fine - until you look closer.

Then there’s this! I have an idea what this was; there are tell-tale elements. The mast gives it away, if I’m right.
Googling . . . <edmcmahonvoice> You are correct sir.
Theaters are a good way to gauge the prosperity of the place in its past and judge the paucity of its present:
Run the Google Chronovisualizer back a few years, Mr. Chekov
1904. Its builders had a duty to give beauty to the street.

So what was it?

Today the Mayfair Theatre is another vacant theatre building in downtown Baltimore City, and has been vacant for more than three decades. Its roof collapsed in February 1998 and it was further damaged in a fire that occurred in an adjacent building in September 2014.[1] As it was in general disrepair, engineers stated the crumbling building was a threat to public safety, and the structure (except the facade and the front lobby) was demolished in 2016. It remains, however, a designated Baltimore City landmark, which sits in the Market Center National Register Historic District.

Slated for inclusion in a new project, last I heard.

The sidewalk suggests there was one of those “improvement” movements that figured people would be brought back by a certain hue of brick. It would look up-to-date, tasteful, and yet historic.
Marble facade, not contemporaneous with the original design. The last gasp of prosperous times.
It’s like a crime scene they preserved, but they never came back for the body.
Stern stone modernism: I always like this. It’s so severe. It’s grown up and uncompromising.
But . . .
I love this more. This is pure 60s jewel-box perfection. Of course it was a bank.
America has miles of this. I suppose it’s inevitable; before these went up, there were blocks and blocks of older buildings in similar states of disrepair. But still.
An old chain of stores.

This is from 1932, when a canny merchant planned ahead for the prosperity that was right around the corner.

Founded in 1858. Expired in 1990.

We extend our best wishes and hopes for the future to Howard Street.