Friday, November 22, 2013

The MedChi Building

In 1908, The Medical & Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland purchased a plot of land at 1211 Cathedral Street in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. It was just a few blocks from the headquarters building that they’d purchased about 10 years earlier, expanded and then outgrown. IMG_2969x

They engaged Ellicott and Emmart, well-known architects from Philadelphia, who had designed several other buildings in Baltimore, including the Roland Park Women’s Club and St. David’s Church. The building was similar in design to other medical libraries, such as the one in King’s County (Brooklyn). kings co medical library

The lot on Cathedral Street was not quite square – the road angles slightly and the building could not have a large set-back, but needed to follow the street. Building BlueprintThe angle is not noticeable from either the interior or exterior, but it’s clear when you see the architectural plans. There have been some small changes to the space, but it’s not been greatly altered since 1909.

The brickwork on the front of the building is not the usual Flemish bond, but it goes beyond that. On the ground level, there is a Diagonal Flemish Bond, which makes a diamond pattern. IMG_2971xOn the upper floors, the Monk’s Bond, an unusual pattern is used. It creates a very strong vertical line in the brickwork echoing the pillars and tall windows.. monk bondAbove the front door, you can see the actual, legal and historic name of the organization… The Medical & Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland. Unfortunately, this entrance is no longer used. Chirurgical is the historic word for surgical and had its origins in Latin. IMG_2958x

Beautiful tesserae marble floors, a four-story sweeping marble staircase with iron railings and classical architecture Img 031all ensure that the building does not look dated… much.

You can see additional images from the interior of the building here.


1 comment:

  1. Meg,
    I'll be reading this blog. I love the diagonal Flemish bond and all the history you are uncovering.