The Mechanic Theatre is 80 percent demolished. Here’s what it looks like

Anyone visiting the corner of Baltimore and Charles streets recently is well acquainted with the demolition of the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre.

Since fall, heavy machinery has been chipping away at the heavily fortified concrete building, once heralded as Baltimore’s monument to Brutalism architecture. The building shuttered as a performance venue and sold 10 years ago for $6 million. It had been awaiting the wrecking ball after the City Council declined to grant the building a historical protection that would have prevented demolition.

Now it appears the wrecking crews are about 80 percent finished with the work. It had been slow going at first, as crews started with the thicker portion of the building on the Charles Street side first.

But now that the crews have punched through the cavernous auditorium, it seems the building will soon disappear from the plaza forever.

In its place, David S. Brown Enterprises Ltd. is planning two towers for the site that would sit atop a retail podium. The towers, one 22 stories high and the other 32 stories, would contain 476 apartment units. The retail would be large enough to accommodate a Target or Walmart-sized big-box store.

After the Mechanic Theatre is removed from the site, Brown is planning an extensive excavation that will allow it to rebuild an underground parking garage. Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc. estimates the project will be completed in 2017.