Fire in Mt Vernon at old Mayfair Theatre - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Fire in Mt Vernon at old Mayfair Theatre

Fire crews responding to a two-alarm blaze at the old Mayfair Theatre (Anthony C. Hayes)

Fire broke out today around noon along the 500 block of North Howard Street at the site of the long shuttered Mayfair Theatre. With two alarms sounding, more than twenty pieces of equipment responded to the scene at the corner of North Howard and West Franklin Streets.

Affected by the blaze were the Mayfair, along with two adjoining buildings which once housed the former Franklin-Delphi Hotel.

The fire shut down northbound traffic on Howard Street from Mulberry to Centre Streets, and westbound traffic on West Franklin Street from Park Avenue to Eutaw Street.  Light rail traffic along the Howard Street corridor was also interrupted.  As a result, the MTA is offering shuttle bus service to accommodate passengers between North Avenue and Hamburg station.

Fire crews arrive on the scene of a fire at the Mayfair Theater. (Anthony C. Hayes)

Fire crews arrive on the scene of a fire at the Mayfair Theater. (Anthony C. Hayes)

Fire officials on the scene could not confirm what started the blaze, but it is believed construction crews working with a welding torch may have accidentally set it off.

The Mayfair – a single screen 850 seat venue – was built in 1880. The once popular house was closed in 1986. A roof collapse in 1998 exposed the decaying interior to the elements, but the stately facade remained virtually unaffected. Light-rail travelers may recall that for years the marquee of the Mayfair featured a colorful placard which read: Tonight – Sonny Til and The Orioles.

The Mayfair was recently recognized as a Maryland Historic Landmark.

The long defunct Franklin-Delphi Hotel was once a welcome stop for weary travelers back in the day when Franklin Street (U.S. 40) was still a main thoroughfare. The hotel was noted for its extensive display of postcards celebrating sites around the Baltimore area.

Firemen work to dampen a blaze in a building adjacent to the Mayfair Theatre. (Anthony C. Hayes)

Firefighters work to dampen a blaze in a building adjacent to the Mayfair Theatre. (Anthony C. Hayes)


About the author

Anthony C. Hayes

Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, raconteur, rapscallion and bon vivant. A former reporter at the Washington Herald, and Voice of Baltimore, Tony's poetry, photography, humor, and prose have also been featured in Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore!, SmartCEO, Magic Octopus Magazine, Destination Maryland, Los Angeles Post-Examiner, Alvarez Fiction, and Tales of Blood and Roses. Contact the author.
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