Procter & Gamble Baltimore Plant
Under Armour's world headquarters
Today the site of Under Armour's world headquarters, five of these buildings used to house Procter & Gamble's Baltimore Plant: Process Building (1929), the Soap Chip Building (1929), the Bar Soap Building (1929), the Warehouse (1929), and the Tide Building (1949). The company selected this Locust Point site to build a soap manufacturing plant because of its proximity to cargo shipping routes and the city’s transportation infrastructure along the Atlantic seaboard.
The plant was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. According to the Registration Report held at the National Archives, “The size of the Procter & Gamble Plant and the timing of its opening in the early years of the Depression made the plant an important local source of employment and economic stability.” The Plant’s architectural construction and importance in industrial history were also factors in its inclusion.
Local development company Struever Bros, Eccles & Rouse transformed the Procter & Gamble campus into the Tide Point office park in 2004. Construction costs for this 15-acre adaptive reuse project totaled $66 million. Under Armour continues the legacy of Baltimore’s once-dominant garment industry, although the actual manufacturing mostly takes place overseas. Founder Kevin Plank began the company, focusing on wickable athletic shirts, from his grandmother’s rowhouse in Washington D.C. in 1996 before moving its headquarters to Baltimore in 1998. As of 2019, the company employed 14,500 staff worldwide and brought in an annual revenue of $5.3 billion.
The architecture represents only one portion of the peninsula’s significance, however. Between 1800 and the outbreak of World War I, nearly two million immigrants first stepped foot on U.S. soil from this location at Locust Point--second only to Ellis Island in New York. Immigration from Europe, and particularly Germany, rose dramatically after the B&O Railroad and the North German Lloyd Company established an agreement in 1867 that brought ship passengers to the immigration pier along the B&O Railroad. The federal government established an immigration station here in 1887, on land belonging to the railroad. The outbreak of World War I ended the heyday of Baltimore as an immigration hub. The Baltimore Immigration Memorial, located on the site of the Locust Point Immigration Depot, interprets this history today. Imagine arriving in Baltimore by steamship in the late 19th century. How might it feel to see landmarks such as Fort McHenry or Federal Hill?