- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 23, 2002

BALTIMORE (AP) One Saturday night in September 1878, the Shot Tower on downtown Baltimore's east side looked like a 215-foot roman candle ready to blow. A fire raged inside the brick cylinder where workers for decades had made shot by dropping molten lead.
Somehow the pile of 1.1 million bricks erected in 1828 survived the inferno.
The tower has since endured a city-led effort to condemn it in 1903; an abortive plan to raze it for a gas station in 1924; and a fiscal meltdown by the City Life Museums that closed it in 1997.
Starting Friday, the 174-year-old Phoenix Shot Tower, named for the company that built it, will come back again.
For the first time in five years, the public can go in and gaze up through the wooden rafters of what's said to be the tallest shot tower built in the United States, and one of the last standing.
"This is the herald of what's going to come for that neighborhood," said Anne Pomykala, an innkeeper leasing the city-owned tower for $1 a year. She also plans to revive the nearby Carroll Mansion and, eventually, to open an inn next to the mansion.
Visitors will be asked for donations, and hours will be limited to Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The public will be kept to the lower two of 14 floors. According to information panels, the tower's base is 40 feet wide and has walls 4 feet thick.

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