The Tobacco Warehouse was constructed for leaf tobacco storage circa 1875 by Becker Bros., a Baltimore firm formed by German immigrants. Under the ownership of Gieske & Niemann from 1900 to the World War I era, the warehouse continued its use for tobacco storage and housed a cigar making operation on the second floor. Since the early 20th century, the building has been a warehouse for the Baumgarten & Co. toy manufacturers and stationers’, an upholstery shop, a roller skating rink, a mattress factory, cabinet makers, a furniture repair shop, and artist and maker studios. It’s proximity to the railway line and Gay Street, East Baltimore’s main commercial and industrial corridor, made the Tobacco Warehouse convenient for importing and exporting raw and finished materials. The warehouse exemplifies the industries typical of East Baltimore from after the Civil War through the middle of the twentieth century.
Cross Street Partners, as general contractor, will preserve the building’s historic fabric and story and to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s standards, while incorporating modern building systems and amenities. The renovated historic building will feature exposed brick, open floor plans, plenty of natural light, and unique architectural details. The three floors will provide a combination of office, production, studio, and/or retail space in close proximity to community anchors such as the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, the Hoen & Co Lithograph campus, and the amenities of the $1.8 billion EBDI district.