The Former Bayard Station Gas Valve Building
Tracey Clark and Ben Riddleberger purchased the 1885 gas valve building, historically known as the Chesapeake Gas Works, in 2005 to house their architectural salvage business—Housewerks. Riddleberger and Clark have since stabilized and restored the long vacant building (also known as Bayard Station) and have highlighted its many fine details. These include ornamental plaster and woodwork, fireplaces, ten-foot high Palladian windows, and granite walls on the lower level.
Bayard Station was once the headquarters for the Chesapeake Gas Company of Baltimore City, which merged with several other companies eventually becoming BGE. During the station's heyday, the gas works spread over 14 acres. The complex included the Valve House (Housewerks); four large telescoping holding tanks, called "gasometers;" and a series of processing buildings, of which one remains today across Hamburg Street. The gas was manufactured, stored in the gasometers, and then piped into the valve house where it was compressed before being directed into the main lines of the city. (The pipe for the Hamburg Street Line is still visible in the cellar!)
Riddleberger and Clark extensively researched the history of the building and proudly display early images throughout their store. In addition, they worked with the Pigtown neighborhood in 2006 to have the building included on the National Register of Historic Places. With more than a little sweat, the building now is a centerpiece in a quickly changing industrial part of South Baltimore.