“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Downtown in Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Baltimore Arts Tower

Baltimore Arts Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 9, 2008
1. Baltimore Arts Tower Marker
Once known as the Bromo Seltzer Tower, this building is a monument to Captain Isaac Emerson, the imaginative chemist who developed a famous headache remedy, and named it after Mt. Bromo - an active volcano in Java.

Emerson came to Baltimore in 1881 and promoted his drug by offering free one share of stock in his company for each $60 orth of the remedy bought by a retail druggist. Exactly 34 years later, one of the original shares was worth $4,000. By 1911, the business had so expanded that an 8-story building to house the factory was erected, surmounted by this tower.

The tower, modelled on Italy's Palazzo Vecchio, was designed by Joseph Evans Sperry. When completed in 1911, the building was the tallest in Baltiore, and boasted the world's largest four-dial gravity clock, with faces 24 feet in diameter. Emerson crowned the clock with a flashy memorial to his entrepeneurial genius: a 51-foot, 17-ton replica of the Bromo-Seltzer bottle. Constructed of blue steel and illuminated with 596 lights, the bottle made two revolutions per minute, flashing its beam to seamen as far as 20 miles away. In 1936, when the revolutions
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caused structural damage, the bottle was removed - to the dismay of some and relief and of others. The bottle and it frame were pounded into 20 tons of scrap metal.

The City acquired the tower in 1967 - $13,000 and 200 volunteers transformed it into Baltimore's first publicly financed arts center.
Erected by the City of Baltimore, William Donald Schaefer, mayor.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureArts, Letters, MusicIndustry & CommerceScience & Medicine. In addition, it is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1881.
Location. 39° 17.259′ N, 76° 37.244′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. It is in Downtown. Marker is at the intersection of South Eutaw Street and West Lombard Street (U.S. 40), on the right when traveling north on South Eutaw Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 21 S Eutaw St, Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Classic Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Faust Brothers Building (about 400 feet away); Inner Harbor Lofts (about 400 feet away); Wilkens Building (about 500 feet away); Davidge Hall
The Bromo-Seltzer Tower image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Christopher Busta-Peck, April 9, 2008
2. The Bromo-Seltzer Tower
As seen from West Lombard Street.
(about 600 feet away); The Baltimore & Frederick-Town Turnpike (about 600 feet away); Baltimore Infirmary (approx. 0.2 miles away); Restoration of 200 & 202 W. Pratt Street (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
Regarding Baltimore Arts Tower. Locally, the tower is still known as the Bromo-Seltzer Tower.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 9, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,734 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 9, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.

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Jul. 18, 2024