Baltimore Architecture Foundation


It’s all been leading up to this, the Championship! We began with 64 buildings from the 1870s to today, representing 150 years of AIA Baltimore. The Enoch Pratt Central Library and the American Visionary Arts Museum — two beloved Baltimore institutions — now go head to head. Who will be crowned the winner?

Hear from our board members:
“In one sentence describe what you believe makes architecture stand the test of time.”

“I think what makes architecture stand the test of time is the presence of durability in which people can enjoy and be influenced by its design.”

-Lafaithea Stewart, BAF Board Director

“Architecture stands the test of time when it inspires the human soul and creates space for collective experiences.”

-Sarsfield Williams, BAF Board Director

“The very best Architecture communicates essential beauty, graceful balance and joyous delight that is both timeless and transcendent.”

-Anthony Consoli, BAF Board Director

Vote For Your BAF Madness Champion Now!

Photograph Courtesy of The American Visionary Arts Museum

American Visionary Art Museum
Alex Castro, Rebecca Swanston,
and Davis, Bowen & Friedel (1995) Diane Cho (2004)

The American Visionary Art Museum is a brilliant example of sculptural expression. Architect Rebecca Swanston and artist Alex Castro incorporated the curving Trolley Works building and enlarged it with an addition that echoes its curves and creates a strong sense of motion. It’s playful, eye-catching facade expresses the artworks to be found inside by self-taught individuals that make AVAM one of the city’s most beloved institutions.

Photography Credit: Pratt Library (Joseph Romeo)

Enoch Pratt Central Library
Clyde Friz (1933)

From Explore Baltimore Heritage:

“The construction of the current central library building on Cathedral Street began in 1931 and was completed in 1933. Architect Clyde N. Friz hoped to avoid the old-fashioned institutional character of the past in his design and instead to give the library “a dignity characterized by friendliness rather than aloofness…Although allowing for expansion, the design of the new building retained one of Pratt’s steadfast requirements: that there be no stairs leading into the main entrance. This seemingly odd requirement, and one that certainly went against the grain of architectural design for grand civic institutions at the time, was based on Pratt’s philosophy that the library should be open to all people.”