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Brutalist Theater at Risk

Brutalist Theater in Baltimore Faces Demolition

Architect, May 16, 2012

The 1967 Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in downtown Baltimore, designed by Harvard Five architect John M. Johansen, FAIA, may be razed and replaced with two 30-story apartment towers that include retail space, and underground parking. The development firm that owns the theater—which has been shuttered since 2004—recently filed a demolition permit, and the city’s Downtown Partnership, an economic development group, backs its effort to tear down the structure.

Johansen, now 95 and living on Cape Cod, expressed dismay upon learning of the developer’s action. “It’s one of my best buildings, and to see it torn down—it’s very hard to take,” said the architect, whose other buildings include the U.S. Embassy in Dublin.

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