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A 1-acre site in the Inner Harbor

Index to Projects in Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

Gross Floor Area
422,000 s/f

Maryland Port Administration and Maryland Department of Transportation, Baltimore, Maryland

Time Frame
Planning: 4/66–
Construction: 10/73–
Completion: 1/77

World Trade Center

Baltimore, Maryland
Completed 1977


Lead Designers:



Henry N. Cobb
Pershing Wong


Investment office building with public plaza

Click on image to enlarge

This 30-story pentagonal office tower was designed as the focal point of Baltimore's Inner Harbor redevelopment program. As part of this reclamation, dilapidated piers were replaced by a waterfront promenade and notable cultural facilities were introduced, e.g., the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center and the U.S. Constellation Maritime Museum.

The building draws inspiration from the specific circumstances of its site. It stands apart from center city congestion and is visible, like a beacon, from all sides — hence its multidirectional form. The tower responds to the water's edge by projecting one of its five angles into the harbor, like a prow, so that it rises out of the water on two sides. Docking facilities for vessels operated by the Maryland Port Administration (the building's major tenant) are incorporated into the ground floor. On the city side, by contrast, the tower presents a frontal plane and a generous public plaza that links to Pratt Street and downtown. A public observation deck and restaurant occupy the top floor.

By creating significant civic spaces and by giving expression to the drama inherent in the meeting of the city and the sea, the World Trade Center restores the Inner Harbor to its historic role as Baltimore's central focus.


Major Components

13,000 s/f Lobby / Arcade / Promenade; 27 office floors (309,000 s/f total); 20,800 s/f basement; observation deck; 38,000 s/f ground level plaza




American Institute of Architects
Baltimore Chapter: Design Award


I. M. Pei & Partners services

Architectural Design; coordination with associate architect on construction documents and construction administration


Associate Architect

Fisher, Nes, Campbell & Partners, Baltimore, MD (design phase) and
Richter, Cornbrook, Matthai, Hopkins, Inc., Baltimore, MD (construction phase)



Weiskopf & Pickworth, New York, NY


Mechanical / Electrical

Henry Adams, Inc., Baltimore, MD



Mueser, Rutledge, Wentworth and Johnston, New York, NY



Photo credits

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