The Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, which opened March 20, occupies an ornate, Beaux Arts-style building in historic Fells Point. Originally constructed in 1914, the structure was dubbed “Recreation Pier” because it housed a rec center and opened onto a commercial pier jutting into Baltimore Harbor.
Over the years, the building served as the second-busiest immigration port in the country (next to Ellis Island), as well as a harbormaster’s office. It even played the role of police precinct in NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street.” In 2014, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank purchased the property to create a hotel on site, enlisting BHC Architects, Baltimore designer Patrick Sutton and contractor WhitingTurner to make it a reality.
“We said, ‘Let’s make something that engages Baltimore’s industrial heritage but that is also luxurious,” says Sutton. “We nicknamed the aesthetic ‘gritty luxury.’”
The restored interiors now house a ballroom, Andrew Carmellini’s Rec Pier Chop House and the intimate Cannon Room whiskey bar. The pier has been transformed into a light-filled courtyard flanked by 128 guest rooms, many with water views. An infinity-edge pool at its tip appears to spill into the harbor.
Throughout the hotel, Sutton layered opulent materials over exposed brick and steel. Works by local artists grace the interiors and Baltimore lore crops up everywhere, starting with “The Star Spangled Banner” lyrics—penned by Francis Scott Key about 1,000 feet away in 1814—emblazoned at the entry. With mahogany and brass details, guest rooms resemble ships’ berths while behind the reception desk, says Sutton, the harbor—framed through a window—“gives you a sense of where you are.” pendryhotels.com