Friday, March 29, 2019

Dr. Harvey Beck's House

One thing that you can usually say about a Palmer & Lamdin, or Palmer, Willis and Lamdin house is that it's not cookie-cutter. In fact, most of them are a little unusual, if not quirky.

This house, on Northway near Greenway, is one that I have known for a while. My office has a collection of bookplates that date back to the late 1800's. In that collection, we have one that belonged to Dr. Harvey Grant Beck (1870-1951), who was a prominent physician in Baltimore. He was admitted into the membership of the Medical & Chirurgical Faculty in 1900, just missing the centennial cut-off for a written biography.
The bookplate depicts the front door of his house and was probably drawn by an artist friend. There is no discernible signature on the bookplate.

Dr. Beck's house was also listed in the 1924 Brickbuilder as one of Palmer's projects. 

Looking at the spreadsheet of houses I am compiling, I finally found the correct house for Dr. Beck. I am pretty sure that the view above is the side of the house, just to the right of the main entrance. Just out of view, behind the plantings, is the stone wall.

Dr. Beck had a clinic on St. Paul Street in what is now "Old Goucher." 

The house still stands, but I can't vouch for the interiors still looking like this. 

It's easy to miss this house as you drive down St. Paul or up Calvert Street, since the entrance is on 23rd Street. 


  1. I'm the owner of 215 Northway. I have the original blueprints. If you want to see them, please let me know.

    1. How wonderful to see pictures of this grand old house. My aunt, Frances Ford Beck Mahan grew up there. I believe that it had seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms with a nursery area off of the master bedroom. It had one of the first intercom systems in Baltimore and was built around 1910. I wonder if the pool table is still on the top floor.

    2. WOW! Thanks for sharing that. It's such a great house and that they could fit seven bedrooms into it, shows their skills in design and layout.