APS : Architectural Preservation Services


Paca-Pratt Building

Baltimore, Maryland

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University of Maryland Medical System

Completion Date



Now a part of the University of Maryland Medical System, the Paca-Pratt Building was once known as the Sonneborn Building, one of the earliest steel-and-concrete buildings in the city, and the most modern structure of its kind in Baltimore at the time of its construction. It was designed in 1904 (right after the Great Baltimore Fire) to be the latest in fireproof construction, including its own sprinkler system throughout. It was built in 1905 for Henry Sonneborn and Company as a clothing factory. At the time, it was the tallest and largest strictly manufacturing building in the city of Baltimore. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.


Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc. had made emergency repairs to a corner unit of the cornice that had broken and fallen, and noticed significant wear in other areas. At the clients' request, APS conservators performed an assessment for the first-floor terra cotta cornice, as well as the limestone and granite accents along the base of the building. The assessment included a unit-by-unit close inspection and sounding. Treatment recommendations include replacement of damaged terra cotta units, resetting units that have become loose, as well as cleaning and patching of stone and terra cotta.