Richard Walzl Stereoview of the Concordia Building

Richard Walzl’s stereoview of the Concordia Buildings attests to the commercial success and pride in cultured pursuits of Baltimore’s German-speaking community.

The hall was the center of Baltimore German cultural and social activity.  Many of the prosperous German Jewish merchants who moved to the newly fashionable Eutaw Place in the 1880s were members of the Concordia Society. The Concordia was  “next to the Germania [Club] in social importance,” the Germania being the exclusive resort of the wealthiest German merchants of the city (Bierne, The Amiable Baltimoreans, 204-205)

Designed by German-born architect  Adolf Kluss, It was built on the southwest corner of Eutaw and Redwood (formerly German) streets by the Concordia German Association and opened for the first time in September 1865. The structure was destroyed by fire on June 10th 1891 (Official History of the Fire Department of the City of Baltimore, 1898)

The Stranger in Baltimore, an 1866 guide book, relates that the Concordia Building “is finished in the latest style, with every appointment of a club, and also contains a gorgeous theater, with an immense stage.” The Concordia included a subscription lending library of 3,500 volumes, as well as journals and newspapers in both German and English.

Scharf says that in February 1868 Charles Dickens “gave a course of readings, in the saloon of this building, which were largely attended” (695).

“A near riot ensued,” says Carleton Jones in Lost Baltimore Landmarks, “when Lincoln conspirator John Surratt attempted to present a program here on his return from Rome after the war” (47).

Richard Walzl, the well-known photographer, publisher, and purveyor of photographic supplies at 103 West Baltimore Street, seems to have favored turquoise for his stereoview mounts. This view is part of a series called “Baltimore and Vicinity” that included 45 images of important Baltimore structures, from the Battle Monument to the City Jail. Walzl likely published this view before 1876.

View another image of the Concordia Building by William M. Chase.