|In April of 1880, Joseph Rieman began accumulating land at the southwestern edge of Lexington Market for an eight-unit, block-long,commercial and residential development. Established in 1782, Lexington Market is the City’s oldest and most famous public market and, during the 1870s, it experienced a post-Civil War boom. By September of 1880, Rieman had succeeded in obtaining a building permit for the construction of Rieman Block, adjacent to the market. Rieman planned for the first floors to accommodate high quality businesses with better than average housing units above the shops.
Not only rare for its combination of uses, the Rieman Block is also significant because it is an unusually elaborate commercial building from this period with its mansard roof and terra cotta decoration. Although, some of the buildings probably date from mid-century, the present appearance of Queen Anne influenced decorative detailing is the result of the 1880 building project. Today, the Rieman Block is the only remaining example of a late 19th-century terraced rowhouse with first floor shops and living units above in Baltimore.
Rieman Block, 617-631 West Lexington St., is located on the southwest corner of West Lexington and Pearl Sts. Not open to the public.
Photo by Jeff Joeckel, National Register of Historic P