The handsome Catholic Center building at the southwest corner of Mulberry and Cathedral Streets has been an important administrative office for the Baltimore Archdiocese for fifty years. The eight-story structure was designed by architect John F. Eyring with details, including granite and limestone clad walls and bronzed window trim, selected to complement the Central branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library on the opposite side of Mulberry Street.
The site, formerly occupied by the old Calvert Hall College High School, attracted numerous onlookers during construction not for the modern architecture of the building but the unusual tower crane employed by general contractor Kirby & McGuire. Invented in Germany in 1949, self-erecting tower cranes were still remained an unusual sight in Baltimore when the Copenhagen-built crane went to work in the early 1960s.
The $3,000,000, eight-story structure was completed in early 1965 and dedicated by Bishop T. Austin Murphy on November 7, 1965. The cornerstone of the building held copies of the Catholic Review from the day of the building's completion. The new office hosted Catholic priests, church hierarchy, lay men and women who had previously worked at offices and churches scattered across the city. Since it opened, the building has been used for exhibitions, meetings, and many other religious and community events up through the present.