Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage
maryland house and garden pilgimage

BALTIMORE CITY
A WALKING TOUR OF THE MOUNT VERNON NEIGHBORHOOD

SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2011 
10 AM TO 5 PM

Special Project: Monies raised by the tour will be used by the Friends of Mount Vernon Place to maintain and beautify the four public parks surrounding the Washington Monument and provide free entertainment in the parks for everyone to enjoy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~HISTORY~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The homes and properties open on the tour are located in the core of the Mount Vernon neighborhood which has been designated as both a National Landmark Historic District and a Baltimore City Cultural District. This neighborhood, once home to the region’s wealthiest families, is named for the Washington Monument, a large pillar commemorating George Washington, and its four flanking formal parks. The District is still home to many important cultural institutions such as the Walters Art Gallery and the Peabody Institute, as well as innumerable art galleries, craft workshops, studios and community theaters.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ DIRECTIONS ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NORTH BALTIMORE AND BEYOND: Take I-83 South to the St. Paul Street Exit. Proceed south on St. Paul St. Turn right on Monument St. You will see the Monument and parks directly in front of you as you go west on Monument St.

 

THE SOUTH: Take I-95 North to #395. Bear right toward Downtown Exit. Turn right onto Pratt St. Continue East for two or three blocks. Turn left onto Charles St. Stay on Charles St. heading North. You will see the Washington Monument in front of you as you go North on Charles St.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ LUNCH ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lunch will be served at Feast at 4 East at the 4 East Madison Inn located at 4 E. Madison Street in the Mount Vernon neighborhood. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. for $15 per person. Outdoor dining will be available.
 

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MT. VERNON PLACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

This church was designed by the local firm of Thomas Dixon and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places for almost 40 years. Sited on the footprint of the original Charles Howard mansion on Mt. Vernon Place and in an area considered to be the outskirts of old Baltimore City, the Norman Gothic church was constructed between 1870-1872 at an original cost of land, structure and furnishings of $400,000. No expense was spared in building this “Cathedral of Methodism,” including an original organ using water power, the fourth largest instrument of its kind in the United States. The grand church seats 900 people in its main sanctuary and is considered to be one of only three “high Gothic” buildings in the city proper. Its most unusual surface characteristic-the polychrome masonry walls, buttresses and towers-is now aged to deep greens and browns, a distinctive coloration that developed quickly and was a great surprise to the original builders. Interior furnishings and treatments include hand-carved American Walnut pews, historic stained glass windows and intricate stone masonry based on natural themes. A secondary sanctuary, built to accommodate congregations up to 300 people, was used to provide sleeping quarters for World War I troops who also dined in the ground floor social hall.

 

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PARK AVENUE

Located on a block of exceptionally deep lots and facing an intact block of historic Park Avenue townhouses, this home is part of a four lot development parcel that was never fully realized. The banker, Francis T. King, purchased the majority of the site, tore down existing structures and built three fine brownstone homes for his family, designed by Charles L. Carson. The middle of the three is number 827. The faces of the three row homes have uniform architectural detailing, including brownstone at the first floor and brick facades with brownstone lintels and window surrounds on the upper floors.

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CATHEDRAL STREET

There are many historic structures in Mt. Vernon but none that combine the architectural fantasy, creative detail and energy of this home. The 1855 residence originally included a large side yard. After changing hands between several residential uses, the property was converted in the 1920s into a Hupmobile Automotive Dealership and then a bottling plant. A highly successful Reliable Tire Company shop occupied the building starting in the 1940s. The furniture and decorative arts firm of McLain Wiesand began renovating the building in 1999. Previous use of the ground floor for automotive displays left an unusually tall storefront-which is now filled with antiques, painted furniture and whimsical sculptures and artifacts. The warehouse area now groans with a dizzying array of material, including plaster casts of historic fixtures, art works underway, gilt light fixtures, decorative furniture and production equipment. The display window on Cathedral Street is set up as an expressive stage for the artists working inside. Do not miss the apse-like library alcove on the first floor, the elaborate plaster paneling in the top floor Moroccan room, or the kitchen combining concrete counter tops with rustic faux finishes.

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EAST CHASE STREET

Another rare free-standing mansion in the historic core of Baltimore, this home was originally built for Benjamin Howard as a relatively small house. Howard sold the property to Mrs. John S. McKim who was in her 70s but, nevertheless, planned to build a compound for her extended family. Her architects, cousins Wilson & Wilson, produced a fine Queen Anne home with exquisite Georgian interior details. Delicate cornice assemblies are supported by finely wrought brackets and dentil work. Two full height bay projections bracket the entranceway which is framed by a wrought iron fan light grille and stone surround. The home was doubled in size at the turn of the century and its current site is equal to four or more typical Mt. Vernon row home lots. In its current form, the mansion has a symmetrical plan with a formal hall separating two ornate receiving rooms, a circular library, hand-carved French cabinetry with mahogany and gold fittings in the dining room and elaborately renovated bathrooms. An additional one-story wing abuts the west side of the main house while a spectacular formal garden adjoins Calvert Street on the east.

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ST. PAUL STREET, THE HISTORIC WINANS HOUSE AND OFFICE OF AGORA PUBLISHING.

This rare and largely intact Standford White-designed mansion was built in 1882 in the Francois I style for Mr. Ross R. Winans. Mr. Winans was heir to a fortune made by his father in St. Petersburg, Russia, and an early member of the Board of Directors for the B&O Railroad. Few other properties in Historic Mt. Vernon match the size (16,600 square feet and 46 rooms) or architectural gravity of this imposing red brick and brownstone residence set within a walled compound, and none other were designed by Stanford White. Carved brownstone panels are inset in the St. Paul Street facade, which is punctuated by a bold projecting turret. Large brownstone dormers also accentuate the picturesque and asymmetrical composition of the mansion and allow the architecture to visually dominate the large compound, which also consists of stables at the rear of the walled site. Following the Winans’ residency, this building served as home of the Girls Latin School, a funeral home (who paved over the gardens) and medical offices. After acquiring the property in 1995, Agora Publishing has executed extensive renovations of the building. This property exemplifies late 19th century French Renaissance Revival architecture-and much of the original detailing remains intact. A ballroom occupies the southeast corner of the first floor overlooking the former garden. Tiffany-designed tiles form a fireplace surround, and complex balustrades, leaded glass, friezes, detailed parquetry and coffered oak ceilings abound.

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EAST MADISON

One of the few free-standing historic homes in Mt. Vernon, this three-story Greek Revival brick mansion was built c. 1843 (possibly as a wedding gift) for John H. Heald, a Baltimore tanner. Interior fittings include black marble and slate fireplaces, many original light fixtures (converted from gas to electricity) and a spectacular spiral staircase with original embossed leather finishes. The residence was also owned by the attorney and veteran Colonel Edgar Dawson, his wife Lucy Terrell Dawson and their descendants until 1926. Colonel Dawson fought on the Confederate side in the Civil War along with his father-in-law who was a Confederate General. Colonel Dawson’s son eventually bequeathed the home to the University of Georgia. Other past residents include explorer and big game hunter Micajaw Pope and his wife Francis Pope, Dr. Francis Ellis and his wife Margaret Ellis. The property was restored by the local educator, artist and social activist Stanley Z. Mazer and is still outfitted with his magnificent sculpture, paintings and drawings.

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EAST MADISON

This gracious 1845 home features marble stairs, mahogany doors and wainscoting, ornate etched glass panels, stone floors and a large side garden. The home was purchased in 1903 by the Baer family. Dr. Baer established the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and created a joint professorship with Dr. Batch around the period of World War I. Dr. Baer converted the home to medical offices of the “4 East Madison Orthopedic Group”-a renowned medical practice that served many notables including Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Katherine Hepburn and Mickey Mantle. The property is now lovingly restored and operated as a nine room guestroom inn and serves as a favorite local wedding venue and restaurant.

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EAST MT. VERNON PLACE

A four and one-half story brick mansion that has been converted to multi-family tenancy. Its entrance portico is placed low in the Georgian revival fashion and on a broad stone plinth. Best estimates are that this home was built around 1850, most likely for General Timothy P. Andrews, the Irish born hero of the Mexican War and Paymaster-General of the U.S. Army until his retirement (and departure from the house) in 1864. Later owners were the Balderston family, local commission merchants, and then an operator of a boarding house. John Work Garrett succeeded to the ownership and he left the home to John Middleton and later to Robert Sloan and Gilbert Fraser, the British Consul to Baltimore, and others. It served as the home of artist Partridge Klots as well as the home of Mrs. Edward H. White (the former Elizabeth Garrett) until her death, at which time it was converted to multi-family use.

 

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EAST MT. VERNON PLACE

Facing the terraced East Parks, 12 and 14 E. Mt. Vernon Place have been combined into a single condominium development. They form the centerpiece of a block of a particularly fine and intact historic street scape. The Smith residence located at 12 E. Mt. Vernon Place is a building that was designed by Architect Louis L. Long, designer of St. Ignatius Church and Loyola College on Calvert at Madison Street. It was occupied in 1850 by Colonel Richard France-famously known as the “Lottery King” for creating the Maryland State Lottery. Later inhabitants include John Work Garrett, President of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and later his sister, Elizabeth Garrett White. The home and carriage house were converted into rental apartments in the early part of the 20th century.

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Baltimore City (Mt. Vernon) | Calvert County | Kent County | Baltimore County (Mantua Mill) | Prince George’s County | Anne Arundel County (South County)


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