Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage
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BALTIMORE CITY

SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012
10 AM TO 5 PM

Special Project: Fencing and refurbishment of the Maple Leaf Park. This is an urban space which has been developed by the neighborhood. It is bordered by North Avenue and is in back of the 1700 block of Park Avenue, the 200 block of Laurens Street and the 1800 block of Bolton Street.

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

Of all the neighborhoods in Baltimore, Bolton Hill is the one that best captures the look and spirit of the old city. A suburb int the first half of the 19th century, with romantic villas and large country houses, Bolton Hill became a city neighborhood after 1850. It attaind its final fomr by the 1880s comprised of over a thousand houses, churches, synagogues and gardens. Eutaw Street was the main thoroughfare, a grand boulevard lined by vast and elaborate architect designed houses. Other streets contained typical Baltimore vernacular structures and were home to a thriving community of writers, artists, scientists and scholars. Throughout the 20th century demographic shifts brought about by suburbanization and the automobile as well as urban renewal, Bolton Hill survived thanks to quiet streets, charming gardens and neighbors that worked collobratively to purchase threatened homes in order to avoid absentee landlord ownership. Today the community is rightfully proud of its heritage and achievements.
 

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

ROUTES FROM SOUTH OR EAST OF BALTIMORE: I-95 to I-395 to Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd. Follow MLK approximately 1 mile to Eutaw St; left onto Eutaw Street; right at third stop light onto W. Lafayeete Ave; take W. Lafayette to Bolton or Park St. Parking is on the street (no restrictions on Satruday)

ROUTES FROM NORTH OR WEST OF BALITMORE: From I-695 West on beltway; take I-83 South to exit 6. Go straight at traffic light onto Mt.Royal Ave. Turn right at second light onto W Lafayette Ave.; take W. Lafayette to Bolton or Park St. Parking is on the street (no restrictions on Satruday)

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

Suggestions for lunch close to the tour are:

tourschedule

PARK AVENUE

This is a five-story Baltimore townhouse built in the early 1870s as a single family house. By the mid-20th century, it had become a 10 unit rooming house and then served as a “party” house for Maryland Institute College of Art students. The present owners bought it in 2000. By that time it needed a “little” care to the tune of a 20 dumpster demolition, significant structural reinforcement (including a completely reconstructed roof), and entirely new systems. Essentially no decorative finish work remained to be preserved so a decision was made to take the building down to its most basic components, emphasizing the beauty of the original materials and the skill of the handcrafting artisan builders. The result, by 2007, was five floors of loft live/work space. Currently, the building is experiencing a more subtle transformation into the home of a family with two young boys.

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PARK AVENUE

One of three adjacent, four-story row houses with street-facing bay windows, this home was built in the 1870s. It features a Victorian parlor, a space ideal for musical entertainments, a tradition that continues today. The ground floor, site of the original servant’s kitchen, was restored in 2005, keeping the original windows, fireplace and low ceilings. Bells that once summoned servants have been retained. They still ring but no servants appear. The kitchen looks out on the back garden which, if spring weather cooperates, will offer views of flowering dogwood and cherry trees.

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JOHN STREET

This house was constructed in 1884, one of a block of 11 attached units. These Edwardian townhouses are paired with alternating marble and brownstone facades and mansard roofs. The townhouse was acquired by its current owners in 1977. It is eclectically furnished with a mixture of contemporary, family and antique pieces. The formal first floor dining room was converted into an open family kitchen with a dining area and a bay window overlooking the small garden and Rutter Mill Park. A small rear addition that once housed the kitchen now serves as a bar and pantry. The second floor stairway landing has been opened by removing a portion of the ceiling to bring in natural light from the skylight above. The entire house is open to visitors.

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JOHN STREET

This house, built in the late 1850s, is one of the oldest in Bolton Hill. The narrow (13 feet wide) town house, with a side entrance, has retained many original architectural details, including pine plank flooring in the living and dining rooms. There is a rustic carriage house, with original beams, a large hearth, and brick floors, which serves as guesthouse for family and friends. Both the house and the carriage house will be open. The front garden faces the charming John St. Park and is shaded by magnolia, holly and crab apple trees. The courtyard garden, between the main and carriage houses, is partially shaded by an ancient crabapple. The planting beds are edged with old Baltimore granite curb stones. The secluded courtyard garden serves as an additional room for the home during warm weather.

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MOUNT ROYAL AVENUE, BROWN CENTE

This glass clad building was designed by Charles Brickbauer and opened in 2003. It is named for Eddie and Sylvia Brown in recognition of their generous gift of six million dollars to the Maryland Institute College of Arts. A quote from the Architectural Record reads, “simply the finest modern building erected in the Baltimore/Washington area since I. M. Pei’s East Building of the National Gallery was built in 1978.”
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MOUNT ROYAL

This marble Renaissance building was built in 1904 of Beaver Dam marble from Baltimore County on land donated by Michael Jenkins after the Baltimore fire. The architects were Pell and Corbett of New York. It was officially opened in 1907 and today houses college offices, classrooms and exhibit spaces.

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PARK AVENUE

This gray stone house, one of the few free standing houses in Bolton Hill, was built c. 1885 by a doctor with five daughters. The medical offices were on the first floor and servants quarters on the top floor. At a later date it was turned into several apartments. The present owners purchased the home about one hundred years after that remodeling. Now it has been transformed back into a one family home. Much restoration took place including replacing the center stair, which had been removed. There is also a rare front garden as well as a large garden in the rear. The kitchen renovation is noteworthy. There is also a playroom for the children of the family.

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PARK AVENUE, BROWN MEMORIAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Dedicated on December 4, 1870, the church features a vaulted ceiling and an unparalleled collection of eleven original Tiffany stained glass windows. It is considered ”one of the most significant buildings in the city, a treasure of art and architecture.” (Baltimore Magazine) The church underwent a $1.8 million restoration between 2001-2003. Under the current pastor, the Reverend Andrew Foster Connors, the church continues its involvement in issues of social justice and peace and has taken an active role in dialogues between the Jewish and Christian faith communities.

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LANVALE STREET

This house was built in 1852, and was updated and modernized in 2007 as a single family home. The front façade is protected by an easement held by the Trust for Architectural Easements. Key architectural points include a Federalized style, typical Bolton Hill high ceilings and large rooms, a restored light shaft that provides natural light through the house, screened in back porches on the first and second floors, and a modern kitchen on the first floor. The shutters were removed from the house in the early 1960s and put out as trash for pick-up. They were rescued by a local preservationist and stored in his garage. Forty years later his son purchased the house. Getting the shutters reinstalled has been a challenge. Each floor of the house had its own shutter size. To determine where each shutter should be hung, the owners turned to a painting of their home by Bolton Hill resident, Marie Whittie, from the early 1960s. The painting, which can be seen during the house tour, helped identify the style of the shutters, and the owners were able to get the measurements based on the original hardware that still was attached to the house. After four decades in storage, the shutters needed some work. Of the 16 that originally hung on the front façade, 13 were in good condition and could be restored, while the other three were damaged beyond repair. Today, all the shutters are hanging again.

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BOLTON STREET

This c. 1870 marble building was designed by architect Charles Cassel. The structure was originally built as an Episcopal church and over the years has served a number of other purposes including a community recreation center and the home of the Bolton Street Synagogue. In 2004, the then vacant property was rezoned for a single family home. There were numerous challenges such as incorporating structural modifications and creating a multi-story interior in a building that was originally designed as one level. The tall windows and former altar space were particularly challenging. The “great room” in the front remains open to the ceiling and was designed to feel expansive while creating a transitional space from the church exterior to the living space in the rest of the home. The front garden was designed to soften the facade by breaking up the space vertically and to provide different textures and colors as the season’s progress.

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WEST LANVALE STREET

This three-story brick townhouse with a full walk-out basement was built in 1857.  The hallway on the first floor featrues alternating planks of white oak and walnut. A summer kitchen has been added to the basement (the location of the original 19th century kitchen).  The recently restored third floor features a cupola with windows on all sides that presents panoramic views of the city. 

 

Baltimore City: Bolton Hill | St Marys  | Talbot  | Howard  | Anne Arundel (North)


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