Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Grove of Remembrance, Druid Hill

From the amazing Atlas Obscura, comes this description of the Grove of Remembrance at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore. 

Planted by the War Mothers of World War I on October 8, 1919, the oak trees in the largely forgotten Grove of Remembrance in Baltimore’s 745-acre Druid Hill Park continue to thrive to this day. Ultimately, one tree was planted for each state in the union—48 at the time—along with additional trees representing the City of Baltimore, the allies of the United States, and President Woodrow Wilson.

The ceremony was described as “one of the most beautiful ever in Baltimore,” according to press accounts of the event the following day.

The quiet dedication was attended by Mayor William Broening, Baltimore-born Cardinal James Gibbons, Maryland Governor Emerson Harrington, and the French ambassador to the United States. Also in attendance were 20 wounded veterans from the Great War.

Two stone markers along Druid Hill Park’s Beechwood Drive signify the entrance to the Grove of Remembrance.

A pair of bronze plaques highlight the grove’s historic dedication and the location of each state tree, which were planted 25 feet apart from one another. More trees have been planted for subsequent wars. On Mother’s Day in 1927, former First Lady Edith Wilson participated in the groundbreaking of a memorial pavilion at the grove, which also remains to this day. For decades, the grove hosted annual memorial events on Mother’s Day.

Nestled in the grove near the Maryland Zoo, the stone-and-slate Grove of Remembrance Pavilion has stood for more than 90 years, but is in need of repair and upkeep. Designed by architect E.L. Palmer, the rustic pavilion is dedicated to First Lt. Merrill Rosenfeld, a prominent Baltimore attorney. Serving in the 115th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division, Rosenfeld was leading his men during the Battle of Verdun when he was killed on October 16, 1918. For his actions and courage, Rosenfeld was honored with a Distinguished Service Cross. 

While the grove and its pavilion are not central to the park, and the pillars aren't on a well-used road, more than 100 years after the first trees were planted, it's as important as ever to remember those who went before us. 


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

On the Market: 3805 Greenway

If a house has an address on Greenway, you can be pretty sure that it's going to be beautiful, as Greenway is one of the most lovely streets in the city. This Palmer & Lamdin-designed house at 3805 is no exception.

From the realtor's listing:

Welcome to 3805 Greenway, a warm and gracious Georgian Colonial masterpiece. Designed by architects Palmer, Willis and Lamdin in 1924, this Guilford home of note exudes a stately presence and at the same time offers all one desires for 21st century living.
The residence is beautifully sited on a generous 1.08 acre lot, with room to spare for a sweeping tiered front garden. Upon entering, a graceful yet dramatic center hall entryway embraces you, setting the stage for a lifestyle experience of comfort, ease and modern elegance.
With 11'+ ceilings, handsome polished hardwood floors reflecting natural light spilling from the bank of windows from the landing above, exquisite inset Corinthian columns and prominent dentil moldings, the home is sophisticated and welcoming, unrivaled in quality and architectural design. The main floor offers an ideal floor plan, with wide open spaces that flow from one to the other, accommodating your modern lifestyle, yet reflecting the tradition and historic quality of homes of this period.
The billiard room delights, with a fireplace and surrounding built in bookcases by the Potthast Brothers - famed Baltimore furniture makers. Located just off the kitchen, the Great Room has been completely remodeled, with no detail overlooked. Surrounded by windows with white plantation shutters, French doors, and a dramatic coffered ceiling, this is the perfect room for relaxing, recharging, and spending time at home.
Formal living and dining rooms, with unique and original fireplaces, decorative moldings and notable architectural details, offer generous space for dining and entertaining on an intimate or grand scale, as you prefer. An open and airy modern chef's kitchen provides optimal flow for cooking and entertaining. The room is replete with a crystal chandelier, Viking stove and wall ovens, KitchenAid dishwasher and Sub-Zero refrigerator. An office wing, laundry and adjacent exercise room bring convenience to your busy life.

The primary suite offers a dressing room with a double walk in closet, stately double vanities, and a large soaking tub. Three more bedrooms en-suite and a bright and spacious office with fireplace round out the second floor.
The third floor presents endless opportunities with additional bedrooms and baths, including a fabulous 33 x 16-foot space to create a recreation room, home office, yoga or art studio - or whatever you desire.
The meticulously maintained grounds and gardens offer opportunities for leisure, entertaining and exercising. Enjoy the various patios, grassy lawn, salt water hot tub, and tennis court. Convert the tennis court to a temporary Pickleball court or a dance floor for a wedding or summer soiree!
As proud stewards of this historic beauty, the owners have taken great care and consideration to update and modernize all elements of the home while staying true to the period in which the house was designed and built.
The listing is here

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

On the Market: 2 Englewood Road

The houses on Englewood and Edgevale Road which surround Edgevale Square, a common green, are some of my favorites. Designed by Edward Palmer when he was the in-house architect at the Roland Park Corporation, these houses take their cues from the English villages which inspired much of Roland Park. 

No. 2 Englewood Road has just gone on the market for the second time in five years. The couple who own it are friends, and I am both happy and sad for their move, but love what they've done with the house. 

From the realtor's listing: 

English Country Palmer and Lambin [sic] home in one of Baltimore’s most sought-after neighborhoods. This architecturally significant, semi-detached Roland Park gem features 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths and is completely move-in ready having been recently updated by its current owners.

This impeccable home welcomes everyone with its warmth and elegance, and offers beautiful appointments and decorator touches throughout. You’ll appreciate the gracious living areas that include a comfortable, spacious living room with a coffered ceiling, fireplace and exquisite built-ins, the inviting glass family room which opens to the patio, and the formal dining room and kitchen with walk-in pantry.

The home also features custom window treatments and wall coverings, custom light fixtures, fresh neutral paint colors, handmade cabinetry and beautiful hardwood flooring and woodwork throughout.

Travel up the gorgeous staircase to discover 2 bedrooms with a shared renovated bathroom, in addition to a primary bedroom with a new walk-in closet and gorgeous spa-like bathroom.

The spacious third level begins with a cozy sitting area on the landing which leads to the 4th bedroom and oversized versatile 5th bedroom/family room -- perfect for movie night and family get-togethers.

The beautiful newly landscaped yard with mature trees, flat front yard, 1 car garage and easy access to the secluded and hidden 2.5 acre Edgevale Park (with exclusive use by the 12 surrounding homes), complete the fabulous lifestyle you will inevitably create with this exquisite and immaculate home.

You can see why I am completely charmed by this house. The full listing is here

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Dundalk and Palmer on WYPR

In preparation for an upcoming event with the Baltimore Architecture Foundation and Baltimore Heritage, Amy Menzur, head of Dundalk Renaissance, and I had the opportunity to speak to Sheilah Kast at WYPR's "On the Record" radio show. It aired on June 4 at 9:30 a.m. I have written about Dundalk, here.

On July 9, Amy and I will be speaking on "Designs for Victory: Olmsted-inspired Garden City Plans for Historic Dundalk." While Amy will be concentrating on the history of Dundalk and its current renaissance, I will be talking on Edward Palmer's part in designing the housing stock for the "Ship" streets. 

Here's the summary of the event: 

The Bethlehem Steel Mill at Sparrows Point launched an effort to create a Garden City-style town in 1917 just before the US entered WWI. At the same time, the Federal Government began housing production for war workers. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. (FLO Jr.) headed the Town Planning division of the new United States Housing Corporation. Several colleagues in the nascent profession of city planning who had worked with FLO Jr. on Roland Park and Forest Hills Gardens were all directly involved in designing Dundalk, including Baltimore architect Edward Palmer, Roland Park Company leader Edward Bouton, and architects Grosvenor Atterbury and Charles Wellford Leavitt. Their plans were inspired by their designs for more affluent areas, including curvilinear streets, separation of uses, green spaces, and restrictive covenants. We will explore how these plans created a new community for workers and managers, but was segregated by race.

You can sign up for the event here.

Here are my notes for today's interview.

From 1907 to 1917, Edward L. Palmer was the architect for the Roland Park Company, and he designed a number of houses there, including his own, modeled on a Swiss chalet. In addition to Roland Park, he had a small private practice.

In 1917, Palmer opened his own architectural practice, continuing residential work, and securing the commission for the village of Dundalk. He had worked Edward Bouton at the Roland Park Company, who knew he could design a variety of distinct housing types and hone to the company’s mandate of expedience and low cost.  [His partner, William Lamdin, joined the firm in 1920.]

In 1917, Edward Palmer was asked to create a village out of 1,000 acres of farmland just beyond the eastern edge of the city. The land had been purchased by the Bethlehem Steel Company to house their workers who had families.

At their peak, around the time of WWI, there were more than 2,500 company towns, housing 3% of the US population. The companies that ran the towns were primarily labor companies such as coal, steel, lumber and various war industries.

Companies understood that their employees did not want to live in cramped quarters, so in an attempt to keep the workers happy, some forward-thinking companies created villages modeled on the Garden City movement in England. Green space was valued, and attention was given to architectural details, an Edward Palmer specialty. Good housing close to the plant or factory enhanced quality of life for the workers, reduced absenteeism and reduced commuting time.

The two-story houses Palmer designed for Dundalk was limited to three or four basic plans. They all had steeply pitched roofs with a combination of gable, jerkin-head, shed and flared shapes and stucco exteriors. Influences from Palmer's work in Roland Park can be seen in the housing stock in Dundalk. In fact, there are some nearly identical houses in both neighborhoods. However, all of the houses in Dundalk are semi-detached or townhouses.

This “company town” concept was also carried out at Wawaset in Wilmington, Delaware, when the DuPont Company hired Palmer to create a similar village for the company’s executives and scientists. The village stretched two city blocks wide by five blocks long, blending 50 town houses, 56 duplex houses and 101 single-family houses.  

In a departure from Dundalk, but not Roland Park, Guilford and Homeland, houses in Wawaset included land-use restrictions with each property deed. The strict building and maintenance provisions were aimed at preserving for original and future residents the integrity and attractiveness of Wawaset’s architectural concepts.

Monday, May 24, 2021

A Visit to Villa Pace

You might remember that I recently posted about the 1930's Villa Pace, and last week, I had a chance to visit this beautiful house and have a tour, given by the current owner. 

Although I did see much of the main level of the house, I was not comfortable taking pictures of it, but I took plenty of the outside.

The house was built in a cross-shape, and is of Italianate style, similar to others that Palmer & Lamdin built, including the Shrine of St. Anthony

The house had a bit of a checkered past, with it being built in the 1930's by opera diva, Rosa Ponselle. There was a pretty serious fire in the late 1970's and then a battle with the insurance company, which lasted several years. 

Once that was over, Rosa Ponselle died and the house was to be made into a music center. Lots of issues with that, and over the next several years, all of the money disappeared.

The house was sold to a young company who could only do what they could do to maintain the house, and couldn't do anything about the property, other than mow the vast expanse of lawns.

About 25 years ago, another couple purchased the house and brought it back to its former glory. The restored the interiors, planted the gardens,

added trees, a pool and pool-house and cared for it with love.

My visit was on a sparkling late spring afternoon, when the sun was shining,

and the gardens were bright with blooms. 

A very gracious thank you to my delightful hostess!

Monday, May 17, 2021

On the Market: 5202 St. Albans Way

When I was a kid, I had a friend who thought it was pronounced Stalbans. All one word. It took a while to realize she was talking about Saint Alban's Way. One of the prettiest streets in Homeland, with several Palmer & Lamdin houses lining the roadway.

Just on the market last week is 5202 St. Alban's Way. There are at least six other P&L houses that I've catalogued so far on that street. 

Here's what the real estate listing says:

Perfectly situated in the center of the neighborhood on one of Homeland’s few double lots sits this unique stone home built by Palmer Lamdin architects in 1927. Known well for their fine architectural details, mainly in the woodworking, this home seems to be a showcase of sorts displaying their signature work throughout. Wide and thick wood doors with raised paneling, detailed paneling on the walls, wide open entry way and foyer, and mantelpieces that you’ve most likely never seen before lie inside, decorating each spacious room.

The home is light and airy and the amount of living space is abundant inside and out.

The kitchen was fully renovated in 2009 with granite counters and a Wolfe range, and also has the original butlers pantry which has been preserved. The large dining room walls are draped with Zuber wallpaper, also featured in The White House, as well as a gas fireplace for ambiance.

The living room is very spacious and along with its extra reading nook with built-in shelving and gas fireplace, opens with double French doors to the completely reconstructed family room. The large family room is filled with light and windows, a stone exterior wall within, and a built-in system with beverage refrigerator and cabinetry. French doors from the family room open to the elaborate gardens in the rear.

With four sizable bedrooms upstairs, an extra attic/play room, and a lower level with many usable spaces, this house has plenty of space to spread out. The garage is attached and accessible inside of the house through a mud room. Laundry has been moved upstairs for convenience.

The gardens outside are beyond imagination, as meandering paths lead you around the endless plantings and specimen trees. There are also ponds, water features and stone work, along with a beautiful surrounding iron fence.

The property is so truly unique that it has been featured in home and garden tours over the years. An exquisite package worth exploring!

 This is a great house, with a double lot, in a great neighborhood.

Friday, April 9, 2021

On the Market: 3700 Greenway

I have written about the Gateway Houses, the addresses of which are 3701 St. Paul Street and 3700 Greenway before, but now Greenway has gone on the market, so I am writing about it again.

This house was last on the market in 2013, and I wrote about it on my old blog, Pigtown*Design, here.

The same realtor is selling the house, and here's what he has to say about the house:

Situated at the entrance to Guilford, this stunning Palmer-Lamdin designed home makes quite the statement. Surrounded by 4 acres of park, it gives you the sense of being in a private estate, yet you are conveniently close to Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Campus, the BMA, Union Memorial hospital, the shops and restaurants of Charles Village, the Rotunda and so much more. A walled front garden greets you as you approach this classic Guilford home. Enter into the two-story foyer with curved staircase and then on to the generously proportioned living space with large living room, huge sunporch, elegant dining room and remodeled eat-in kitchen. The second floor offers you a generously sized main bedroom suite with walk-in closet and private full bath, plus there are an additional three bedrooms and another full and remodeled bathroom. The lower level has ample storage and space for a fifth bedroom. Plus a two-car attached garage! A rare gem!

I love this sweeping staircase, and the fanlight over the front door. This house has about a dozen sets of French doors, which are wonderful. (But if you want to be taken seriously as a reader, don't shelve your books by color.)
The two Gateway houses share a center parking area, each house with its own garage. So you better hope that you and your neighbor get along well. 

Do you like the house painted white, or in the original brick color?

The listing is here