M&T Bank Exchange

The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center is a multipurpose entertainment complex, located in a former bank hall in downtown Baltimore. The 1914 facility is home to three entities listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was originally master planned by OTJ Senior Principal and Studio Director Gary Martinez. The Exchange, an agile new venue that accommodates audiences of 500-750 patrons, was designed to seamlessly link to the center’s existing lobbies, lounges, and amenities, as well as the main hall of this 165,000-square-foot complex.

Operational economies and increased quality of service for patrons were at the heart of the client’s design brief. Accordingly, the technical/theatrical package for the room, which once cost the France-Merrick $30K per event to be installed, has now been absorbed into the capacity of the new venue, saving the operator or presenter additional rental and installation fees. In addition, a state-of-the-art lighting and audiovisual package allows for the full immersion of patrons and performers in a customizable theatrical experience.

In addition to a superlative package of upgrades, the venue enjoys a privileged location at the southern anchor of Baltimore’s “Avenue of the Arts” and relative to Camden Yards, the downtown business district, close by residential and retail use, and is an immediate neighbor to the University of Maryland. The Exchange held its official grand opening in October of 2023.

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Baltimore, MD


21,000 RSF


Arts, Culture & Education


Historic Preservation

The Exchange, the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center’s newest addition, is a flexible performance venue sure to propel forward Baltimore’s ongoing cultural renaissance.