Alex. Brown's Headquarters Going Under The Lights Tonight

Skyscraper Will Glow With Flip Of Switch

April 22, 1997|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

Alex. Brown Inc. will light up the exterior of its new 30-story headquarters tonight, becoming the latest downtown landmark to become aglow after dark.

The investment firm's decision to illuminate the 1 South St. skyscraper comes roughly three months after it consolidated more than 900 employees from eight downtown offices to the $90 million office tower. Just several weeks ago, the investment bank recently agreed to merge with Bankers Trust New York Corp.

"We had originally planned to put the Alex. Brown flag atop the building and light that," said A. B. "Buzzy" Krongard, the company's chairman and chief executive. "But then problems arose in that it was too expensive and there was no guarantee on the results. Even so, the lighting will add another distinctive building to the Baltimore skyline."

The former Commerce Place building, renamed for Alex. Brown, becomes the latest in a series of downtown buildings to accent their exteriors since November 1994.

Since then, the so-called "Brighten Baltimore" campaign has illuminated nine downtown structures, including the Bromo Seltzer Tower, the 26-story 100 E. Pratt St. skyscraper and the World Trade Center. In all, the campaign targeted 33 buildings, based on their ability to accentuate the city's skyline.

"The idea is to revitalize the downtown area, making it a safer, better-lit place to do business," said Kathleen Nolan, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman.

Alex. Brown, whose lighting concept is the creation of Susan Brady Lighting Design Inc. of New York, plans to flip the switch on its lights at 9 p.m. Lights have been placed outside the sixth, eighth and 29th floors, with another set of lights connected to the pyramid-like top of the building, said a company official.

"It's like wearing a tuxedo instead of a suit," said Laurie Schwartz, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc., which is coordinating the program. "It just makes you feel a little bit better to brighten things up."

Pub Date: 4/22/97

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