The venerable Maryland Club is planning an expansion to provide more exercise options for its members.
Baltimore’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation on Tuesday voted to grant preliminary approval to a request from the club to build an addition in the parking lot south of its main building at 1 East Eager Street.
The addition will contain an expanded fitness center for club members at street level and a third doubles squash court above. It also will provide a new entrance to the main building on the Charles Street side, for those coming from the parking lot.
Architect Walter Schamu of Schamu, Machowski + Patterson told the preservation commission that the project is being planned to meet the needs for more exercise facilities for Maryland Club members. He said the addition of a third doubles court for squash will give the club one of the largest doubles-court squash facilities in the country, with three doubles courts and three singles courts.
“Squash and exercise are the tail wagging the dog” at the Maryland Club, he said. “Members want health and fitness, and now they will have it.”
The project also includes modifying and concealing a 1988 addition that provides squash courts and covered parking. The new addition will wrap around the 1988 wing so its walls aren’t visible from the street. Much of the new exterior be a “green wall” covered with plants.
The new Charles Street entrance will likely be clad in limestone and glass to provide a visual separation between the main building and the addition, said architect Chuck Patterson.
Now that CHAP has approved the design concept, Schamu said, members will be meeting in May to decide whether to move ahead with construction. He said completing the design and preparing construction drawings will take about a year and construction will take another year, putting the projected opening at mid 2018. A cost estimate for the project isn’t available yet, he said.
The Maryland Club was founded in 1857 as a social organization for local business leaders and moved to its current location on Eager Street on New Year’s Day, 1892. The building was designed in a Romanesque style by Josias Pennington of Baldwin and Pennington. After a multi-alarm fire in 1995, the Eager Street building was thoroughly restored and reopened a year later. The club has about 1,150 members, Schamu said.
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