Sagamore Pendry Baltimore

Merit Award 2018

This landmark structure, The Sagamore Pendry Hotel, located in an historic waterfront neighborhood of Baltimore, was built in 1912 as a recreation pier. It has been a landing point for American immigrants, a commercial port, a maritime radio station and the set for Homicide: Life on the Street.

The renovated Sagamore Pendry Baltimore building opened as a world-class boutique hotel where guests experience the unique essence through a crafted storyline and thoughtful design choices.The interior design of Patrick Sutton had a large influence on the overall project ethos, concept and guest experience. Ashton Design and Finndustry built on this ethos with design decisions regarding typography, scale, materials and overall impact.

Finndustry and Ashton Design designed the exterior and interior signage, dimensional graphics and feature walls throughout the hotel, designing each piece to fit the team's collective aesthetic of “gritty luxury.” The signage elements are like jewels throughout the hotel, discoveries that add to the luxurious grit and meaning of the place. Front-of-house signs and feature graphic elements were made locally of solid brass, hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel.

Guests are greeted by a large steel typographic installation of The Star-Spangled Banner. This backlit wall of letters set in Baskerville was laser-cut out of three 10-foot-tall, seven-gauge steel plates. The design required overlapping the letters just enough to create proper support and structural integrity while remaining readable.

The entry corridor leading to the hotel lobby features nine brass medallions set on oak wall panels, each of which represents an aspect of Baltimore's cultural heritage: a horse, a marble stoop, the Baltimore flag, a maritime star, a raven, a baseball player, Edgar Allan Poe, a blue crab and an anchor.

The biggest challenge of this project for Finndustry and Ashton Design was integrating and installing two 20-foot-tall banners on the exterior of the historic structure, 50 feet up, without making any major penetrations or alterations to the façade.

At the top, they bolted to the underside of a granite recess. At the bottom was an historic metal railing that was restored but still fragile. So they created a steel horizontal support that spanned between granite columns and directly behind the decorative railing. All the attachments were completely out of sight.

The banners also needed to be easily and frequently replaced with different seasonal banners throughout the year. They devised a custom pulley system, inspired by ship sails of the surrounding nautical neighborhood, that could be lowered and raised from the balcony. This also eliminated the need for a truck to install them directly in front of the hotel, thereby shutting down the street below.

This Finndustry and Ashton Design project has helped to put the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore on the map through its strong and concise design vision and is now influencing business and spurring development across the neighborhood and city. Conde Nast Traveler called it “Stately. The one hotel you’ll want to make home base.”

Jury Comments: 

"I really enjoy the variation in materials, from the VIP plaque to the room and restroom signs. Each is treated a little bit differently, but they make a stunning system."

"Elegant craftsmanship with a great juxtaposition of considered materials and textures."

Design Firms: 

Ashton Design, Finndustry


Sagamore Development, Pendry Hotels

Project Area: 

80,000 sq ft

Open Date: 

March 2017

Project Budget: 


Photo Credits: 

Patrick Ross Photography, Kevin Weber Photography, Spoticus Photography (photography)

Design Team: 

Ashton Design Team: Alexey Ikonomou (creative director, lead designer, project manager), Keith Kellner (senior designer, illustrator), Ilene Lundy (designer)

Finndustry Design Team: Derek A. Friday (creative director, lead designer)


BHC Architects (architects), Patrick Sutton Design (interior design), Mahan Rykiel (landscape architect)


Triangle Sign and Service Co., Gutierrez Studios (primary fabricator, interior and exterior), Triangle Sign and Services (installer and secondary fabricator, select signs)

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