United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company Building, later known as Redwood Center. 26 S. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md.
This photo set is from two days of shooting in 2012. One at night and one during the day. The first time we got in here was at night. I noticed the wooden fence around back had the lock cut off it. Once inside there you could use a knife to slide the pin of the door lock open and get inside. Technically you were entering into 117 Water Street and went up a few floors and crossed over via a skybridge guarded by pigeons into 26 S. Calvert. After that you could hit up the half-spiral staircases to the roof.
The roof here has a great view, tall abandoned buildings are a real treasure. Not having HVAC units blaring at you makes it much nicer than active roofs. The inside of this place was pretty much gutted long ago. It still had a great half-spiral staircase but some of it was covered in plastic, probably from asbestos abatement. Most of the floors were about the same. At night they looked very cool because of the way the light was coming in from the windows. The doors in the lobby said Redwood Center after USF&G left the building. One interesting thing I found was the old directory. It lists Jerold C. Hoffberger, former president of National Brewing Company, makers of National Bohemian Beer aka Natty Boh. He was also former owner of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. He was pretty much Baltimore royalty. There also used to be a plaque on the front of the building that listed it as the spot where Wendel Bollman was born, inventor of the Bollman Truss bridge. A lot of Baltimore history is going down at this unassuming location.
Another even crazier bit of history I learned was this…
In short this building was used as a temporary City Hall in the mid 1970s. In 1976 a gunman burst inside and attempted to kill then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer. He did not succeed in killing Schaefer but did kill a councilman and wounded several others.
As of spring 2014 they have started removing windows and cleaning up the place in order to transform this cluster of buildings into more luxury condos, the only creative use of old buildings anyone in Baltimore can think of.