When Benjamin Chew Howard, son of Revolutionary War hero John Eager Howard, and his wife Janet Gilmore built their home at 924 North Charles Street in the 1850s, they knew it would be fabulous. It was. And it kept getting more fabulous over the years.
By the 1890s, Baltimore merchant John Knapp and wife Sara Gilfrey had purchased the house and put another hundred thousand into furnishings (equivalent today to $2.5 million), including glass from the Tiffany Studios in New York and marble from Baltimore’s Rinehart Studio. By the 1930s, Baltimore’s high-end furniture maker Pothast had turned the house into showroom for its handmade Colonial Revival pieces—sold with the slogan “The True Antiques of Tomorrow.”
The history of the restaurant began in the 1970s when when William Paley, Jr. opened the Brass Elephant Restaurant and replaced furniture sales with fine dining. The most recent chapter in the building’s long history began in 2015. Owners Linda and Steven Rivelis have retained the history and elegance of this storied building as today’s Elephant. Join owner Steven Rivelis on a tour through the building’s rich history, ending with one of the restaurant’s signature drinks the “Tiffany Punch,” named after the Tiffany glass that continues gleam.