An unrealized proposal to preserve Baltimore’s historic Mayfair Theater as a stabilized ruin


From its location at Howard and Franklin Streets, the Mayfair Theatre bore witness to Baltimore’s cultural shifts and creative adaptation through much of the 20th century. The site began life as a public bath house, but as pastimes changed, the use evolved — first as an ice skating rink, then a playhouse, a Vaudeville venue and finally a movie theater before closing its doors in 1980.
After the roof of the auditorium collapsed in the 1990s, the structure was left exposed to the elements for nearly 20 years. In 2016, apart from the facade and lobby, the building was demolished.
This project reimagines the former structure as a performance venue and music incubator. A restored lobby and front-of-house lead to an open-air auditorium within the stabilized walls. A covered stage is located at the former fly tower, with rehearsal rooms and an event space above.