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Baltimore Living

Best Building

Rouse-Flick Learning Tower

As hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gleaming office buildings, hotels, and condo towers have risen in the Harbor East area of downtown Baltimore over the past generation, one nearby building stands out against the expensive backdrop of glass, brick, concrete, and metal: the rustic Rouse-Flick Learning Tower, built out of wood for a mere $160,000. The 75-foot tower, topped by a roofed platform mounted by 99 steps, was dedicated in 1998 as part of the Living Classrooms Foundation’s campus on a city-owned pier across the water from the foot of Central Avenue. Its function as an educational resource for students is laudable, but so is its stark beauty as a low-tech, low-cost structure, standing tall and distinctive in the crowd of neighboring buildings, like a latter-day Robinson Crusoe at a fancy dress ball.

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