Merchants' Exchange Collection - PP141

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library

1871-1901 and Not dated

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, November 1999


The Merchants' Exchange in Baltimore was located at the southwest corner of Gay and Water Streets. Designed by Benjamin Latrobe in collaboration with Maximilien Godefroy, the building was constructed in ca. 1815-1820. It had a Graeco-Roman design, with a dome that was a landmark in the city during the building's existence. The dome had catwalk promenades offering good views of the Baltimore harbor.

At different times, the building served as a stock exchange and reading room, customs house, bank, hotel, and post office, and as a venue for various public ceremonies: General Lafayette was received here in 1824, and Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, and Baltimore heroes of the Mexican War lay in state under the dome. The building was demolished in ca. 1901-1902.

Collection Origin

Various sources, including gift of P.M. Reese (002812, 49970?, 55015, 75361).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 7 folders containing 21 photoprints and 1 nitrate negative. The photographs depict the Merchants' Exchange building in Baltimore between years 1871 and ca. 1901-1902. Many images depict the building's demolition in ca. 1901-1902. Two images from the 1870s may be copies of earlier photographs. There are also two copies of drawings or prints, one of which may date to 1817.

Note: Related materials are found in the Manuscripts Department of the Maryland Historical Society: MS. 610, the Merchants' Exchange Reading Room Record Books, 1832-1899.


The photographs are arranged according to PP catalog numbers. Duplicate/copy negatives are stored in the Photographic Services Department of the Maryland Historical Society.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 7 Folders

Box 1, Folder 1
PP141.1 - Merchants' Exchange, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 2
PP141.2 - Merchants' Exchange, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 3
PP141.3 - Merchants' Exchange (Customs House) in process of demolition, ca. 1900.

Box 1, Folder 4
PP141.4-.15 - Merchants' Exchange (Customs House) in process of demolition, n.d. and 1901. There are two photoprints and one negative for image PP141.11. Negatives: PP141.11 - ZN14.1670; duplicate/copy neg Z24.531.

Box 1, Folder 5
PP141.16 - Merchants' Exchange in process of demolition, n.d. Duplicate/copy negative: Z24.359.

Box 1, Folder 6
PP141.17 - Merchants' Exchange, 1875 (copy?).

PP141.18 - Exchange Place, 1871 (copy?).

Box 1, Folder 7
PP141.19-.20 - Drawings or prints of Merchants' Exchange, n.d. and 1817(?), copies. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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