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Idlewylde: A Community on the City Line (Virtual Talk)

October 7, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

By Donation

Idlewylde, a community of more than 700 homes situated on the Chinquapin Run and Herring Run-B watershed, is the oldest of the suburban neighborhoods of South Towson. The community has a mix of housing styles characteristic of the development of suburban neighborhoods during the time of its growth, ranging from 1920s bungalows and small Cape Cods to brick Colonials and Mid-Century Modern designs. Its development differed greatly from that of its younger neighbors, Anneslie and Stoneleigh, chiefly owing to the development of The Alameda as an arterial road terminating in Idlewylde and to the northward extension of Baltimore City in 1918 to Idlewylde’s southern border.

The Idlewylde neighborhood partially occupies land that was once Beulah, the estate of Joshua Regester (1816-1906), a Baltimore brassfounder whose bells graced Baltimore City Hall and other buildings of note. Beulah once extended north to Stevenson’s Woods (now the Country Club of Maryland golf course), south almost to today’s City-County line, west to the Birckhead estate (“Anneslie”) and the Brown estate (“Stoneleigh”) and east to the Herring Run tributary. The family’s farmstead and summer home, built in 1853, is the oldest building standing in south Towson. It and the Idlewylde United Methodist Church from 1917, the oldest house of worship in the area, are listed on the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties.

This special program is hosted in partnership with the Friends of Maryland’s Olmsted Parks & Landscapes as part of their Olmsted 200 programming, a nationwide celebration of the firm’s work and influence, on the Bicentennial Anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted’s birth. In 1928 the developer contacted the Olmsted Brothers, the renowned landscape architects responsible for designing the City neighborhoods of Roland Park and Homeland, to commission a street layout for the undeveloped northern section contoured by the ravines of Herring Run, but the project was nipped in the bud by the stock market crash and ensuing Great Depression. However, Idlewylde turns out to have an unexpected connection to Frederick Law Olmsted.

Come learn of this as well as celebrate the heritage of this unique community as shared by two Idlewylde community members who will be available to answer participants’ questions after the presentation.



Paul Romney is a longtime resident of the Idlewylde Community and serves as the newsletter editor and secretary of the Community Association. He is a professional historian specializing in the history of Canada.

Bryan Fisher, AIA, NCARB, is a registered architect and a historic preservation specialist. He has contributed significantly to numerous important architectural projects including work for the U.S. Capitol, the National Archives, the Smithsonian Institution, dozens of National Park Service sites throughout the U.S., the GSA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NAVFAC, Washington College, and the Maryland Historical Society. In his spare time he enjoys sailing, exploring Idlewylde, and working on his Mid-Century Modern home.



The Baltimore Architecture Foundation and Baltimore Heritage, Inc. have been hosting this Friday Virtual Histories Series of live lunchtime presentations and virtual tours since the start of the pandemic as a way to share an understanding of architecture, preservation, and history of the Baltimore region with the public. Tickets are donation based. We encourage you to give what you can to support these organizations to help make up for lost tour and program revenue from the pandemic and create more virtual programs like this.

Upon registering you will receive an email confirmation and a Zoom link. If you do not receive a link, please contact If you do not contact us at least 1 hour prior to the start of the program, we cannot guarantee admittance.

Hope you can join us!