In addition to our regular tours this fall, in October we are pleased to host a special series called “Race and Place in Baltimore Neighborhoods.” The series includes three Saturday morning walking tours in Upton, Greater Rosemont, and Sharp-Leadenhall and a lecture by distinguished scholar and Baltimore native Dr. Rhonda Williams. We would love to have you join us for one or all of these! And, thanks to the Maryland Humanities Council and Free Fall Baltimore, they are all free.
Together with scholars from the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, UMBC, and Towson University, as well as neighborhood leaders from the Upton Planning Committee, the Evergreen Protective Association, and the Sharp-Leadenhall Planning Committee, we will walk through neighborhoods that have served witness to Baltimore’s challenging histories of segregation, civil rights, racial transition, displacement, urban renewal, and even historic preservation. You’re encouraged to stay for a light lunch after each tour to continue the discussion with our tour leaders as we delve into the complicated relationships between race and place and what this history means for the future of these and many other Baltimore neighborhoods.
Finishing up our series on Italianate rowhouses is this week’s post focuses on Italianate conversions in older neighborhoods such as Federal Hill and Fells Point,
The Italianate style, with its consistent cornice line, made for uniform and stately rows of identical houses. In older federal and Greek Revival style rowhouse neighborhoods, however, it had the opposite effect. The imposing cornices reminiscent of the palaces of the Renaissance – and the full-height top storey beneath them – proved so popular that Baltimoreans either tore down their old dormered or Greek Revival rowhouses or converted them to the Italianate style. The result is a romantic jumble of differing rooflines that lends a peculiar charm to older neighborhoods like Fells Point and Federal Hill.
Diminutive but nationally significant, Baltimore’s Irish Shrine at Lemmon Street offers a rare glimpse of immigrant home life in America in the middle of the 19th century. Please join us for a tour of the Shrine, two restored 1848 alley houses in the Hollins Market neighborhood, with our hosts from the Shrine and its affiliate, the Railroad Historic District Corporation.
Dates: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 / Thursday, June 24, 2010
Time: 5:30 to 6:00 PM wine and cheese reception
6:00 to 7:00 PM tour
Place: 900 Lemmon Street – one block north of the B&O Railroad Museum
Parking is available along nearby streets
Cost: $15 (includes wine and cheese reception)
Registration: Click Here to Register Read more
Italianate rowhouses, popular in Baltimore from the 1850s until the 1880s and beyond, were particularly suited to long, uniform rows beneath uniform carved cornices. They formed stately “street walls” around Baltimore’s squares and along principal thoroughfares like Broadway. Pictured here are Waverly Terrace, circa 1850, on Franklin Square, and the north side of Union Square, circa 1880. The latter contains the home of the Sage of Baltimore, Henry Mencken, now owned by the City of Baltimore.
The popularity of the Greek Revival in Baltimore was not limited to churches and schools; it also produced a new design for the city’s ubiquitous rowhouses. Greek Revival rowhouses dispensed with the dormer window of the older federal style. Instead, the top half-story was lit by a square “attic” window beneath a less steeply gabled roof. From grand examples in Mount Vernon to humble 2 ½ story houses in Fells Point and Federal Hill, Greek Revival rowhouses dominated from 1830 or so until 1860. Two examples saved from demolition and open to view are the Irish Shrine and Railroad Workers Museum on Lemmon Street and the Babe Ruth Birthplace on Emory Street.