|House of Welsh in 1943. Note the Guilford Elevated streetcar line.|
Inside these buildings make have taken place some of the more little known, but nonetheless interesting stories in Baltimore's history. In 1904, at the height of the Great Baltimore Fire, a telegraph line was hooked up inside the building so news reports and requests for firefighters could be sent, since the city's telegraph office had been destroyed by fire. Later on, it wasn't uncommon to see city council meetings going on in the upstairs dining room.
At one point the buildings were painted black, adorned with advertisements as can be seen by the pictures. Eventually, by the time the restaurant closed it was covered with the dull gray formstone that we were more familiar with.
|House of Welsh in 1947, courtesy of The Baltimore Sun|
These photos from the 1940s show a side of Baltimore that has faded away in many ways. With the demolition yesterday the last of these buildings are gone, the others in the background have long since been replaced with the massive parking lot. Unfortunately, this has happened all too often in our downtown; buildings knocked down for future development that does not materialize. While we cannot bring back the way these buildings used to look like, let's hope something that adds to the fabric of downtown actually gets built, so we aren't left with an addition to a surface parking lot.