Pennsylvania Station dates from the Gilded Age of architecture, when railroads were the economic force of the city and train stations were monuments of civic pride. This station, designed by Kenneth M. Murchison, opened the night of September 14, 1911 to a crowd of 5,000 Baltimoreans, who came to inspect this new "gateway to the city."
Murchison's elaborate design of Beaux Arts classicism featured granite, terra cotta, and cast iron on the exterior, and an impressive interior of Sicilian marble walls, domed skylights of leaded glass, and Rookwood ceramic tiles. Rookwood was once the country's foremost manufacturer of art pottery, producing artistic ceramic tiles for the country's major hotels, churches, and train stations. The Rookwood tiles in Pennsylvania Station are one of the few installations left intact.
Previously on this site stood the old Union Station, erected by the Northern Central Railway in 1873. In 1884, the Pennsylvania Railroad brought the Northern Central Railway line, thereby tying Baltimore into the eastern seaboard rail network. By the early twentieth century, the old facility could no longer accommodate the growing number of passengers, and Union Station was demolished in 1907.
Turn-of-the-century view of old Union Station.
Baltimore City Landmark
Register of Historic Places