Award-winning Reuse of the Montgomery Ward Warehouse
Built in 1925, the eight-story tall Montgomery Ward Warehouse and Retail Store is one of nine monumental distribution centers built by the Montgomery Ward mail order company in cities around the United States. Founded by Aaron Montgomery Ward in Chicago, Illinois in 1872, the store sent catalogs (sometimes known as the "Wish Book") listing thousands of items, from clothing to tractors, to rural communities around the country. Designed by in-house company Engineer of Construction, W. H. McCaully, the building on Washington Boulevard is a testament to the importance of the company’s early success.
Montgomery Ward located its Atlantic Coast Headquarters in Baltimore largely due to the efforts of the city government and the Industrial Bureau of the Association of Commerce to attract new businesses—an early example of a public economic development program.
For nearly 60 years, Montgomery Ward was a major business in Baltimore. It employed thousands of people, sent out hundreds of thousands of catalogs emblazoned with the name Baltimore to customers throughout the eastern seaboard, and provided a unique retail option to generations of local residents.
Today, Montgomery Park has been adapted to a new use as offices. The new use also gave the building a new name, but saved the sign while replacing only two letters from the historic "Montgomery Ward" sign to preserve this icon on the southwest Baltimore skyline. The development won the Environmental Protection Agency's 2003 Phoenix Award.