About

The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower has been a part of Baltimore’s skyline since 1911 and a beacon for innovation and the arts since 2007.

The tower has provided artists, writers, jewelers, architects, and more a space within to create, exhibit, interact with, and sell to the public. Gallery spaces showcase local and regional artists through free exhibitions and openings. We endeavor to allow music and spoken word to echo through the 15 floors of the tower.  Its significant historical history and wondrous clock endure through historical presentations and the showcasing artifacts of the Emerson legacy.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, film office, and events agency. By producing large-scale events such as Light City, Artscape, and the Baltimore Book Festival, and providing funding and support to artists, arts programs and organizations across the city. BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city.

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Inc. strives to mirror the rich diversity of Baltimore City in our staffing and programming while emphasizing cultural equity.  Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people-including but not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion-are represented in the development of arts policy; the support of artists; the nurturing of accessible, thriving venues for expression; and the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources. 

Building History

The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, originally The Emerson Tower, has been a Baltimore landmark since its construction in 1911 and was the tallest building in Baltimore at the time.  This historic structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was modeled after the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy.  The tower was designed by Joseph Evans Sperry and built by Captain Isaac Emerson.

Captain Isaac Emerson, the inventor of the headache remedy Bromo Seltzer and builder of the Bromo Seltzer Tower, had a genuine interest in the City of Baltimore as one of his contemporaries noted, "...he interests himself thoroughly in everything tending to advance our city, and is a patron of all worthy enterprises seeking to push Baltimore to the front."  

After an extensive renovation, the Baltimore Office of Promotions & The Arts officially opened the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower with studios spaces for visual and literary artists in 2008.

The most interesting feature is the still-functioning tower clock, the face of which displays the word BROMO-SELTZER instead of numbers. Modeled on the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the tower was topped by a 51-foot revolving replica of the blue Bromo-Seltzer bottle. The bottle was illuminated with 596 lights and could be seen 20 miles away. Unfortunately, the bottle was removed in 1936 due to structural concerns. To the chagrin of many locals (including several Baltimore Sun editorial writers), it has not yet been replaced.

The Bromo Seltzer Tower is located at 21 S. Eutaw Street at Lombard Street on the Westside of downtown Baltimore.

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