Yesterday the Sellers Mansion in Lafayette Square had a fire inside. Built in 1868 just after Lafayette Square turned from a Civil War Union Army hospital base into a residential community, the mansion is listed as a Baltimore City historic landmark. It has anchored the Lafayette Square neighborhood for nearly 150 years as a private residence and as offices for community nonprofit organizations. And it has been vacant for over 20 years. See our Five Minute Histories video on the Sellers Mansion for more of its history!
We checked things out at the mansion this morning, and it appears the damage was contained to the interior and the roof. That’s the good news. The challenge is that the building is in severely poor shape and needed attention before the fire, and even more so now. As the Baltimore Sun reported this morning, it is owned by developer Ernst Valery and although the city approved redevelopment plans about two years ago, work has yet to begin.
We at Baltimore Heritage have been working to try to save the Sellers Mansion for nearly 25 years and remain committed to do everything we can to see this grand Second Empire building return to being an asset for the Lafayette Square neighborhood in West Baltimore. Scroll down to see photos taken this morning by Baltimore Heritage’s Executive Director Johns Hopkins.