110 years ago Baltimore burned. And burned. And burned.

Baltimore Fire 1904, Hopkins Place in Ruins
Baltimore Fire 1904, Hopkins Place in Ruins

It’s a Brockelmap!

The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904:

  • Began at the John E. Hurst Building off Liberty Street
  • Burned for 30 hours
  • Destroyed 1,545 buildings
  • Reached 2,500-degrees at the hot spot, Calvert and Baltimore Streets
  • Tons of dynamite did not stop the fire
  • Over 2,500 businesses lost
  • Left 35,000 unemployed
  • Burned over 70 city blocks covering 140 acres
  • Baltimore smoldered for weeks
  • Caused $150,000,000 damage in 1904 dollars

From the song, Baltimore Fire:

Fire fire I heard the cry
From every breeze that passes by
All the world was one sad cry of pity
Strong men in anguish prayed
Calling out to the heavens for aid
While the fire in ruins was laid
Fair Baltimore the beautiful city


Aftermath, Looking west from Pratt and Gay Streets

After the great fire, Baltimore underwent a transformation with two years of intense rebuilding. In 1906 publisher Jones & Groeninger published Groeninger’s New Baltimore to celebrate Baltimore’s rebirth. You may download a free copy here—it’s one I digitized some years ago.

By Stephen Brockelman

As a Sr. Writer at T. Rowe Price, I work with a group of the best copywriters around. We belong to the broader creative team within Enterprise Creative, a part of Corporate Marketing Services. _____________________________________________ A long and winding road: My path to T. Rowe Price was more twisted than Fidelity’s green line. With scholarship in hand, I left Kansas at 18 to study theatre in New York. When my soap opera paychecks stopped coming from CBS and started coming from the show’s sponsor, Proctor & Gamble, I discovered the power of advertising and switched careers. Over the years I’ve owned an ad agency in San Francisco; worked for Norman Lear on All in the Family, Good Times, Sanford and Son, and the rest of his hit shows; and as a member of Directors Guild of America, I directed Desi Arnaz in his last television appearance— we remained friends until his death. In 1988 I began freelancing full time didn’t look back. In January 2012 my rep at Boss Group called and said, “I know you don’t want to commute and writing for the financial industry isn’t high on your wish list, but I have a gig with T. Rowe Price in Owings Mills…” I was a contractor for eight months, drank the corporate Kool-Aid, became a TRP associate that August, and today I find myself smiling more often than not.

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