[Amy Davis, The Baltimore Sun]
The stout concrete walls of the old McCormick & Co. spice plant on Light Street fell to demolition 25 years ago. The scent of cinnamon had vanished from the harbor a few years before the landmark industrial building was torn down in 1989.
McCormick moved into its Light Street headquarters in early 1921. It would erect a large vanilla bottle and spice can on the roof. Rail cars arrived at the plant at night, bringing spices from Zanzibar and Madagascar, among other places.
When the spice mills ground the fresh cinnamon, the scent carried for several blocks around the plant, which occupied an entire city block, from Light and Barre streets through to South Charles. Workers at the plant made salad dressings, flavoring extracts and an insect powder.
All McCormick manufacturing in the city ceased in the mid-1980s when the headquarters moved to Hunt Valley.
Preservationists waged an unsuccessful legal battle to have the structure saved, but the Court of Appeals ruled against the effort.
At the end, the structure was owned by Rouse-Teachers properties. In 1989, the firm issued a news release saying the site would become a “temporary parking lot” and it was looking to attract a “major corporate tenant.” The site has remained a parking lot for those 25 years.
The 1.9-acre site sold to Questar Properties for $11.5 million in 2011. Earlier this year, plans were shown to officials for a 43-story apartment tower at the site.