The Baltimore Rowhouse

The Baltimore Rowhouse

Charles Belfoure, Mary Ellen Hayward

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1568982836

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Perhaps no other American city is so defined by an indigenous architectural style as Baltimore is by the rowhouse, whose brick facades march up and down the gentle hills of the city. Why did the rowhouse thrive in Baltimore? How did it escape destruction here, unlike in many other historic American cities? What were the forces that led to the citywide renovation of Baltimore's rowhouses? The Baltimore Rowhouse is the fascinating 200-year story of this building type. It chronicles the evolution of the rowhouse from its origins as speculative housing for immigrants, through its reclamation and renovation by young urban pioneers thanks to local government sponsorship, to its current occupation by a new cadre of wealthy professionals. The Baltimore Rowhouse was winner of the 2000 Maryland Historical Trust Heritage Book Award for outstanding books of scholarly or general interest.

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Napoleon. The Emperor had the marriage annulled and married Jerome off to an Austrian princess, but not before Betsy had borne him a son, who would later make his home in Baltimore.) A large landowner in East Baltimore, William Patterson had donated land to the city in 1827 to create Patterson Park east of Fells Point, on the high ground where Baltimore’s defenders had stood off the British in 1814. By 1890 Patterson’s grandchildren were in control of his vast landholdings, squabbling among

received a premium of $2,940 from the Pattersons for developing the Baltimore Street lots (which represented the value the houses he had built had added to the lots). Everyone gained. By developing their land the Pattersons had made less than a half-acre worth more than $800 annually in well-secured perpetual income. Since ground rent investments paid 6 percent annual interest, the Pattersons’ half-acre was now worth close to $13,500. Gallagher entered into three more similar deals with the

architects and builders had been filling these streets with delightful Queen Anne–style and picturesque-style marble-fronted houses, and Edward Gallagher decided he too would try his hand here. Although this venture was but a brief excursion from his usual working-class market, he learned three important lessons: 1) what it was like to work with a trained architect; 2) the importance of exterior details and interior fittings in marketing houses; and 3) the value of advertising brochures to help

fierce competition from suburban developers, who had successfully convinced a great many middle-class buyers to purchase detached houses outside the central city rather than rowhouses in town. Rowhouse developers studied the competing product—the suburban cottage, with deep front porches and lawns—and then reconfigured the rowhouse.1 130 THE DAYLIGHT PERIOD: 1915–1955 Suburban cottages, which first appeared in Baltimore about twenty years before, appealed to families that wanted to live beyond

live in one of these apartment-houses with all the modern improvements,” they’ll never return 132 58. LEFT 17 West 29th Street, designed by John R. Forsythe for builder James R. Miller, 1911; purchased by Joseph T. Singewald Sr., 1912 (Steven Allan) 59. BOTTOM Baltimore in 1889; detail of bird’s eye view drawn and published by Isaac Friedenwald (Maryland Historical Society) New Zealand Chambers, Leadenhall Street, London, by Richard Norman Shaw, 1871–1872. Building News, 1873 60. TOP

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