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Maryland Historical Society
Library of Maryland History
201 W. Monument Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-685-3750
Fax: 410-385-2105
E-mail: library @mdhs.org

 
A Brief Introduction
"Baltimore Town" was officially created by an act of the Maryland Colonial Assembly in 1729, including an area of 60 acres surveyed in 1730. In 2004, very little remains of the pre-1800 town. At the beginning of the 19th century, wealthy merchants built elegant country houses such as Homewood, owned by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and  Montebello, built by General Samuel Smith. It was during this period that great architects such as Benjamin Henry Latrobe and Maximillian Godefroy designed buildings in the city. With immigration and economic growth, the population of Baltimore grew in both numbers and wealth. It was also at this time the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was founded, linking the city with the rich farmlands to the west.

With the advent of  the horse-drawn street railway, major changes were made in the living habits of Baltimoreans and garden suburbs emerged. Suburbs such as Roland Park, Forrest Park, and Eden Terrace were developed as the city expanded its boundaries. The great landscape architect, Fredrick Law Olmstead Jr., designed several of these communities, leaving his imprint on the Baltimore scene.

As a great port, the shores of the inner-harbor were lined with piers and warehouses. Ships destined for Baltimore came from around the world, along with regional shipping throughout the rivers of Maryland and Virginia, contributing to the economic growth of the city. In the 20th century, as the automobile became the dominant means of transportation, the boundaries of the city expanded again. During these periods, the architecture of Baltimore reflected the popularity of various historic styles (e.g., Neo-Classical).

In 1904, the great Baltimore fire erased many of the downtown buildings from the imprint of the city, presenting an opportunity for new expressions in architecture. In the 1930s the tallest building in the city, The Baltimore Trust Building (in 2001 named "Bank of America"), was erected in the Art Deco style. The city continued to grow with the influx of  people who came to Baltimore to work in ship building and in aircraft manufacturing during World War II.

With the arrival of the 21st century, the metropolitan area of the city has shown great growth, but the city of Baltimore declines in population. It is fortunate that the city retains many of its18th and 19th century structures. This website displays a few examples of 19th- and 20th-century commercial and residential building which are either standing as originally designed or have been replaced by later structures. In most examples, the original use of the buildings has changed to reflect the demands of 2004. 

- John Riggs Orrick, AIA

 

Baltimoreans past and present have endowed their "Monumental City" with a priceless "built heritage," but each generation diminishes its patrimony of buildings and monuments as readily - sometimes even more readily - than it adds to its list of bequests. The documentation of this process of simultaneous addition and subtraction in Baltimore always has been part of the mission of the Maryland Historical Society, and it has been made easier by the advent of new technologies like the one on which you are reading this.

A computer allows an image of, say, the 19th century country seat called "Calverton" to be linked for a researcher to an image of the Baltimore County Almshouse, and for both of them to be tied to images of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the West Baltimore General Hospital, and the Lutheran Hospital in a way which highlights the fact that each of these successively occupied the same site in west Baltimore. At the same time, it allows the Maryland Historical Society's library staff and volunteers-the creators of this Web site-to more thoroughly tap the Society's past so as to comprehensively document not only structures we all know and love, but others which have been forgotten for decades or even centuries. The computer can cheaply bind the warp of written words to the woof of images so as to create-in many cases for the first time-a tapestry of fact on an age which is passing away for an age which could not need it more. 

- Francis O'Neill, Senior Reference Librarian, MdHS Library

 

 Site Contents
1  Masonic Building, 223-225 North Charles Street 
2  Enoch Pratt House, 201 West Monument Street
3  Denny & Mitchell Building, 718 North Charles Street
4  American Brewery, 1700 North Gay Street
5  Belvedere Hotel, 1-5 East Chase Street
6  Camden Station, 301-331 Camden Street
7  Alex Brown Building, 135 East Baltimore Street
8  Williams-Small House, 10 West Centre Street
9  Timanus Mill, 2700 Block Falls Road
10  The Pembroke Apartments, 847 Park Avenue
11  Merchant's Exchange, 40 South Gay Street
12  Old B and O Building, 120-134 Baltimore Street
13  Hughes and Denny Building, 200 West North Avenue
14  Guardian Trust Building, 14-18 South Calvert Street
15  Old Post Office Building, 101-125 North Calvert Street
16  Washington Hose Company Firehouse, 200 West Barre Street
17  The Maryland Casualty Building, 220-230 East Baltimore Street;
18  Church of the Redeemer Building, 5601-5603 North Charles Street
19  The Popplein Mansion/Marlborough Apts., 1701 Eutaw Place
20  Dr. William Osler Mansion, 1 West Franklin Street
21  Dr. Alexander C. Robinson Mansion, 230 North Charles and Saratoga Streets
22  Saint Peter's R.C. Church, 16 West Saratoga Street
23  Baltimore Humane Impartial Society Building, 1400-1408 West Lexington Street
24  Baltimore & Susquehanna Railroad Calvert Station, 200 West North Avenue 
25  Richmond Market Building, 301-317 West Read Street
26  Dr. Charles Howard "Belvedere" Mansion & Mount Vernon Methodist Episcopal Church, 2 - 6 West Mount Vernon Place
27  Stephen Broadbent "Glen Mary" Evergreen Mansion, 4545 North Charles Street

Resources for Architectural Research in Maryland
 

Website Credits

 © 2004 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The contents of this site, including all images and text, are for personal, educational, non-commercial use only.
The contents of this site may not be reproduced in any form without the permission of the Maryland Historical Society.