Photos and text by Barbara Haddock Taylor
The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower has been one of Baltimore’s iconic landmarks since its construction in 1911. Originally called Emerson Tower, it was built by Isaac Edward Emerson, the chemist and business tycoon who invented Bromo Seltzer.
The building’s architect, Joseph Sperry, modeled it on the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence, Italy.
A giant Bromo Seltzer bottle, nearly 70 feet tall, 20 feet in diameter and weighing 17 tons, once graced the top of the tower. The steel, wood and copper bottle rotated there until 1936, when it had to be taken down because its weight was placing too much stress on the building itself.
Today the building is home and studio for a number of writers, jewelers, artists and photographers who have dramatic views of the city from every angle.
Seth Thomas designed the beautiful clock, which has been in the process of refurbishment since 2015. The Balzer Family Clockworks of Freeport, Maine, has rebuilt, repainted and made new hands for the clock which will be returned to its home atop the tower in late April.