DescriptionAt the northeast corner of Charles and Read Streets stands the beautiful Latrobe Apartment House. The name for the building comes from the original Latrobe House, built just after the Civil War and torn down in 1911 to make way for the new apartment building.
When John H.B. Latrobe built his home in Mt. Vernon in the 1860s, development had only recently started to migrate north from the fashionable area around the Washington Monument. John's son– future seven-term Baltimore mayor Ferdinand Latrobe–moved into the house with his wife Louisa Sherlock Swann, the daughter of Thomas Swann (a former Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland). Right next door to the Latrobe House was another 1860s mansion built by the family of Clinton L. Riggs, who moved to Baltimore as a young child. After Latrobe's death in 1911, Riggs decided to purchase the home and tear it down, along with his own family home, to build a modern nine-story apartment house.
Architects Glidden & Friz designed the building in an early Italian Renaissance style. According to the Baltimore Sun, it was "fitted with many of the latest conveniences" with "many quarters especially designed for bachelors." Edward Glidden had already made his mark in Mt. Vernon with the Washington Apartments on Mt. Vernon Place and the Rochambeau at Charles and Franklin (demolished in 2006). His partner Clyde Friz was just starting to develop the reputation that within the next few years would make him one of Baltimore's best-known Beaux Arts architects, with buildings like the Standard Oil Building on St. Paul Street (1922), the Scottish Rite Temple (1930), and the Enoch Pratt Free Library (1933).
Like many historic apartment buildings, the Latrobe Building experienced notable changes over the years, first converted to medical offices and then converted partially back to residences in the 1970s. The Latrobe Building underwent an expensive $3.5 million renovation supervised by architects Cochran Stephenson & Donkervoet in the 1980s and now serves as offices to many Baltimore non-profit organizations.