Wednesday, July 2, 2014

B & O Railroad Grain Terminal- Locust Point

As far back as I can remember the concrete, grain silos have dominated the once teeming shores of Locust Point in Baltimore, MD. These imposingly tall towers marked the hub of trains and grains in our port city. Built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the early 1920s, the hulking structures and their odd looking chutes exported tons and tons of grain between freight trains and ships. However peculiar I thought the design was, it functioned extremely well. Since I could never get the image out of my head I decided to do a few paintings of it earlier this year.
"Locust Point Grain Silos" oil on canvas (12" x 24") 2014
As you stood on the Fort Avenue Bridge and gazed over the acres and acres of containers, buildings and railroad cars and tracks, it made a dizzying configuration that led you to comprehend the transportation puzzle. While I was working on this painting my generous friend and historian Wayne Schaumburg mentioned that he had some slides that he shot of this same location years ago as well. So I did this painting below using Wayne's slides.
"B and O Grain Terminal - Locust Point" oil on board (18" x 24") 2014
As with much of Baltimore's industry the silos ceased to serve the needs they once fulfilled and were transformed into luxury condominiums. The commercial developer has incorporated the silos into the updated structure which maintains its overpowering presence. And you can still watch the freight trains pass by on their way keeping our port business alive.

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