Three significant historic buildings are up for auction next month as part of the new One House at a Time Select Auction—the Sellers Mansion at Lafayette Square, the Emerson Mansion in Reservoir Hill and the former Odell’s Restaurant on North Avenue. In contrast to the rowhouses usually listed in One House at a Time’s bi-monthly property auctions, these buildings are much larger and better suited to a multifamily, mixed-use, or commercial use. Minimum bids for all three buildings are set at $10,000. The application asks interested bidders to explain their experience with the rehabilitation of vacant multifamily, mixed use, or commercial properties, show their ability to finance the development, and be in good standing as a property owner in Baltimore. To avoid the continued neglect, buyers are also expected to abate the vacant building notice within one year after settlement.
Learn more about these buildings and help us spread the word to help make sure that these properties are developed and preserved.
Sellers Mansion – 801 N. Arlington Avenue
Built in 1868, the Sellers Mansion (801 North Arlington Street) is a three-story Second Empire brick house with a mansard roof that rivaled its outer suburban contemporaries in size, quality of craftsmanship, and attention to detail.
The grand Emerson Mansion was built in 1895 by Captain Isaac Edward Emerson at 2500 Eutaw Place. Over the past twenty years, the condition of the building has deteriorated from bad to worse as broken windows have left the interior open to the weather and copper architectural elements have been stolen.
Former Odell’s Restaurant and Bar – 21 E. North Avenue
Odell Brock opened Odell’s Restaurant and Bar at this former automobile showroom on North Avenue in 1976. Brock passed away in 1985 but the club continued to operate until it closed in 1992. According to the Sun, Odell’s was “revered by some as the heart of house and dance music in Baltimore in the 80s.”
Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this final update from the 2016 field season for the Herring Run Archaeology Project. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook.
As we filled all our test units in yesterday, we were discussing all the things we’ve learned so far from our amazing week of excavations. Here are some highlights:
We have the most incredible volunteers. This was an awful lot of hard work, and you guys were all so wonderful. We cannot do this without you, and we cannot thank you enough.
The early Broad family occupation (1680-1742) is intact, and this is indeed where their house was located! We didn’t know this for sure until this week, and this is a huge discovery—the earliest and best-documented historic site in Baltimore City and County!
We have significant evidence that the enslaved women and men who worked in the Eutaw manor house lived in the basement. We’ve discovered two probable hearths that would have provided heat and cooking fires, a subfloor pit that was used for food storage, and evidence of a laundry where Venus Tilghman worked. Finding evidence that relates specifically to Venus and Jeremiah Tilghman and the other enslaved people who made life at Eutaw possible has always been one of the major goals of the project.
The Eutaw house had a tiled roof, decorative marble flourishes (a mantle or even a marble entryway), and elaborate window hardware.
The house also had a finished basement! Many of the stone walls we uncovered this year still had plaster attached.
In the yard, a path paved with river cobbles and pebbles led to the house, and much of the material excavated from the cellar during the house’s construction was used to build a terrace that surrounds the hill where the house was situated.
We also have plenty of new questions to guide our future work. So thank you again to all our volunteers, visitors and supporters for another successful year!
Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this update from day six and day seven of the Herring Run Archaeology Project. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook. You can also subscribe to the project email list to read these posts in your inbox.
We’ve continued working on both the Eutaw manor house and the earlier part of the site over the last two days, and we’ve learned a great deal in a very short period of time.
In the manor house, we discovered a mysterious pit near the southwest corner of the foundation that contained two complete wine bottles and several pieces of eggshell.
In the northeast corner, we’ve identified a builder’s trench. This may not sound very exciting, but it’s a significant find: the builder’s trench usually contains only artifacts that date to the time of a building’s construction, which allows us to put a firm date on a structure. This builder’s trench contains artifacts identical to those we’ve found in the earliest part of the site, where the Broad family lived from circa 1680 to 1740! This reveals two important facts: the first is that the Broads may have lived where the Eutaw manor house once stood, and that their home was displaced when Eutaw was built. It also allows us to positively, indisputably identify the Eutaw manor house as the building that was present from the 1760s until 1865—no later house took its place.
In the earlier part of the site, we’ve identified a trash midden containing domestic trash dating to the time of the Broad occupation – 1680 to 1740. This has revealed important new clues about life in the early colonial period in the Baltimore area – a time period about which we know very, very little. Amidst a truly huge number of oyster shells, we found a delicate china teacup, a Chinese porcelain bowl, numerous pieces of stoneware tankards and jugs, wine bottle glass, and clay pipe stems.
Tomorrow is our public day, and the last day for excavation at this tremendously important site! We hope to see you at the Archaeology Open House tomorrow, April 30!
Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this update from day 5 of the Herring Run Archaeology Project. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook. You can also subscribe to the project email list to read these posts in your inbox.
Today we passed the halfway point of the 2016 field season, and the amazing discoveries continue. Building on the success from yesterday, we continued to explore the location of the earliest European occupation of the site.
We opened several more test units and, while we have not yet discovered any foundations or structural remains of the circa 1690 home of the Broad family, we continue to find the traces of their presence through the artifacts they left behind. The amazing find from that portion of the site was a beautiful french gunflint discovered by volunteers Ilka and Rosa.
Back at Eutaw House, we continue to complete excavating several unfinished units with the house’s cellar. Today we completed a unit near the northeast corner of the house where we discovered a large collection of bricks on Saturday. During the excavation today, we recovered a large collection of clothing and other personal items including beads, jewelry, and buttons of every make and type: bone, shell, glass, copper and iron. We also found a Belgian one cent piece that dates to 1845 and a pipe stem manufactured by Jan Prince the Netherlands from around the same time period.
At the bottom of the unit, we made yet another interesting discovery, a flagstone floor! This is the only section of the house to have a built floor. All other areas of the cellar contained only a dirt and bedrock bottom. The presence of the abundant brick, stone floor and variety of buttons leads us to think that this portion of the house may have served as the Eutaw house’s laundry and the workplace of several of the family’s enslaved men and women including Venus Tilghman.
Thanks to Lisa Kraus and Jason Shellenhamer for this update from day 4 of the Herring Run Archaeology Project. You can find their updates on our blog, the project website, and on Facebook. You can also subscribe to the project email list to read these posts in your inbox.
Today was a very exciting day! Up at the manor house, we identified a new architectural feature—a possible gravel pathway—which may help us answer one of our more pressing questions: which way did the house face? In the Peale painting of William Smith and his grandson, the house appears to face west, but it is difficult to tell. With this new feature and other clues, we hope to piece together a more complete picture of the house and grounds.
In other news: from the very beginning, we’ve found traces of an earlier occupation at the site, and we know that John Broad and his family occupied from 1690 (and likely earlier) through the 1740s. Today, we’ve finally found intact deposits associated only with this earlier occupation!
We know very, very little about life in this region at that time, so this is a tremendous discovery—and this makes Eutaw the earliest historical archaeological site in Baltimore City to date!