A century ago, Printers' Square Apartments in Baltimore housed a single-engine fire station and a printing company. Built in 1906, the two-story building was known as the Guilford Avenue Fire Station. The three adjacent buildings were owned by Waverly Press, a publishing company.
Even today, the property's most striking feature is the firehouse tower, which sports a terra cotta arch with a balcony over its entrance. The adjacent publishing house has an eye-catching curved shape.
As the years went on, the fire station and its neighboring print shop were left vacant. But in recent years, a local development team saw potential in the abandoned historic buildings. Instead of tearing down the structures, the developers—Printers' Square Developers, a partnership with Bolton Properties Management, Osprey Property Group, and Transom Development—transformed it into a 60-unit rental apartment community with some office space.
Local officials believed the renovation would bring new vibrancy and energy to the area. Indeed, th e $10.6 million project morphed the old firehouse and publishing firm into 30 affordable and 30 market-rate units. Many of the apartments were fashioned into high-ceiling and loft-style floor plans with large windows. Community amenities include a computer lab, laundry facilities, and covered parking.
Most of the fire station's historic features and architectural look were preserved during its renovation, which is now complete. The fire pole was kept intact where the lobby now stands. The developers also retained the structure's spiral staircase, tin ceilings, and mosaic wall tile. The fire station's arched tower houses four apartment units.
Printers' Square opened in April 2007 and is almost fully leased.