2011 Preservation Awards: Baron and Company Cigars Building

In June, Baltimore Heritage recognized 14 great historic preservation projects and people who have contributed significantly to the preservation of Baltimore’s historic places. Read on over the course of the summer as we cover these buildings and people, beginning with the Baron and Company Cigar Building.

The Baron and Company Cigar building at 1007 East Pratt Street lies within the South Central Historic District, along Central Avenue just east of Little Italy. Most of the structures in this area are vernacular rowhouses but a few, including the Cigar Building, are much larger industrial buildings that help give the area its distinctive flair. Baron and Company Cigars first occupied the space beginning about 1880, and by 1910 a company called the American Coat Pad Company had moved in. American Coat Pad was an apparel company that distributed throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada devoting itself exclusively to the little poofy parts of men’s and women’s coat fronts. In 2010, Mr. James Seay and his company, Premier Rides, Inc., along with Fishell  Architecture, renovated the building into office space for a number of companies and light manufacturers.

The current restoration included saving and restoring existing doors, replicating metal windows where the originals had deteriorated too badly to be salvaged, and keeping the original metal shutters. The interior spaces were largely compatible for light manufacturing, and were kept intact, with much patching of plaster of course. Many of the original interior doors were salvageable and were kept, as was much of the original wooden flooring. Overall, the work seems squarely in keeping with the purposes for which this late 19th century industrial building was built. Starting out life as a cigar company, then as a clothing manufacturer, it has a new lease on life as offices and light manufacturing.

Read on for more shots of the building from before and after this award winning rehabilitation!

Baron Cigar Company Building before rehabilitation.
Baron Cigar Company Building after rehabilitation.

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