Department of Recreation and Parks - Baltimore City
Patterson Park is one of the oldest parks in Baltimore, and the Pagoda, which was designed by Park Superintendent Charles H. Latrobe in 1890, is one of its most significant features. Encompassed within the historic Patterson Park District on the National Register of Historic Places, it is now a Baltimore icon. The construction of the sixty-foot, four-story, octagonal observation tower took six months. The lower section was enclosed in glass, and metal tread-plates were placed on the steps. Latrobe intended his design to reflect the bold Victorian Chinoiserie style that was so prominent during the nineteenth century.
By 1951, the Pagoda was closed to the public. The process of natural weathering and decay, combined with vandalism and lack of maintenance, made it unsafe. Repairs were made over the years, but none were substantial enough to address the chronic problems, and the Pagoda continued to deteriorate. In the early part of 2000, a master plan for Patterson Park called for the complete restoration of the Pagoda. The project was financed by State and local funds, as well as by a grant from the Maryland Historical Trust. The City of Baltimore, Department of Recreation and Parks, hired Worcester Eisenbrandt, Inc. to perform the restoration work, most of which was in 2002, but was completed in 2006.
The scope of work for the Pagoda included restoration of the metal balcony rails and interior spiral stairs, as well as of the wood windows (including leaded glass transom panels), doors, and wainscot. The interior spiral staircase, in particular, is all steel, and it includes handrails, balusters, treads, and the structural frame of the staircase. WEI replicated the elaborate historic color scheme.