Columbus School Apartments

Building on the momentum established by the conversion of the nearby American Brewery, CBH+A adapted Baltimore's School 99 into 50 affordable apartments. Originally constructed in three phases between 1891 and 1912, the historic elementary school at the corner of Washington Street and North Avenue had been abandoned for many years at the time construction started.

The Woda Group, LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Adaptive Reuse
Historic Renovation
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  1. During the years of abandonment, fires, rainwater, and scavengers wreaked havoc on the building.
  2. Piles of pigeon guano, a large tree growing from the wreckage of the roof, and a boiler room permanently flooded with crystal clear water were among the abandoned school's more notable features.

Old & New

  1. Large openings cut through the existing fabric provide light to lower level spaces and highlight the history of the building.
  2. Inserted at the slot between the 1905 and 1912 structures, the airy new entry and canopy contrast with the adjacent heavy masonry construction.
  3. Where possible, historic elements were preserved in place or salvaged and reused as decorative accents.

Units & Amenities

  1. Adapting the rambling Romanesque school required many different unit types. A mix of one and two bedroom apartments, the units all feature high ceilings, large operable windows, and warm finishes.
  2. Additional building amenities include a community room with kitchen, educational space, computer lab, and library.