The Hippodrome Theatre

First opened in 1914, the historic Hippodrome Theatre has been a centerpiece of downtown Baltimore for more than 100 years. Designed by famous theater architect Thomas Lamb, the Hippodrome was originally used as a movie palace and vaudeville venue and now showcases top Broadway performances and world-class concerts. After a brief closure in the 1990s, the historic theatre received a major restoration and expansion, reopening in 2004 as the heart of the new France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. As civil engineer for this $58 million rehabilitation project, CEI prepared site plans to renovate the original Hippodrome Theatre and combine it with three other buildings to create a state-of-the-art performance venue. The project included the renovation of three historic buildings – the Hippodrome Theatre, the Western National Bank (c. 1887), and the Eutaw Savings Bank (c. 1888) – and construction of a new addition. CEI provided full civil designs for this redevelopment, which followed Baltimore City CHAP, Maryland Historical Trust, and Downtown Partnership regulations.


  • Site designs included new utilities connecting into public mains, coordinating with Baltimore City for all work within the right-of-way.
  • The site size was 2.3 acres, and the project impacted six existing structures. The project required full stormwater management and erosion/sediment control designs.
  • CEI prepared civil designs for the demolition of two existing buildings to create space for a new rear service drive and loading dock.