Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Driving Tour of "The District"

Roland Park Magazine was the "propaganda" arm of the Roland Park Corporation and was used to help bolster sales of properties in the neighborhoods of Roland Park, Guilford and Homeland. It discussed gardens, homes and people, and also had advertisements for new homes, home services, gardening supplies and much more. As always, the ads are every bit as interesting as the articles. 

The magazines, which range from 1926 to 1960, have been scanned by Johns Hopkins, which now houses the records of the Roland Park Corporation, and are fully searchable.
One of the more interesting pieces I found was a driving tour of what is referred to as "The District." It's a little more than eight miles long and takes the driver by various highlights on the three neighborhoods. It is mostly still accurate, although some of the places have changed. Here is the drive, quoted exactly as written: 

"In order to put facts about the more salient features of The District within easy reach of motorists, The Roland Park Company has had prepared a Tour Map of the entire territory.

As was stated in these columns last month, this Map may be had upon application to the Company's downtown office, but for the benefit of those who have not had an opportunity to obtain a copy we are presenting its mile-by-mile itinerary. It is as follows:

The tour begins on University Parkway at the intersection of Charles Street. Proceed west along University Parkway, at 0.1 miles, on your left the Homewood Athletic Field of the Johns Hopkins University. On your right, at 0.2 miles, First Church of Christ, Scientist.

Between 39th and 40th Streets, at 0.3 miles, you pass over a bridge, there entering Roland Park, the first major development of The District. Beyond 40th Street, note the landscaping of the difficult slope between the two sides of the Parkway.

0.8 MILES:
At Keswick Road, turn right. The trees along this street were planted by the Roland Park Company when this third section of Roland Park was opened in 1910. This was originally a bare gravel hill.

0.9 MILES:
Enter Northfield Place and turn left into Merryman Court, a group designed by the late Howard Sill, one of the country's authorities on Colonial architecture.

Leaving the Court, bear right on Keswick Road. At left, interesting use of varicolored local stone.

1.2 MILES:
Turn right on Somerset Road, again turning right at Roland Avenue (1.4 miles). Decorative Water Tower. Catholic Home for Aged Women [now Symphony Manor], with St. Mary's Orphanage in background [now 4405 Roland Avenue].
1.6 MILES:
At Cold Spring Lane, turn left across tracks and take the right fork into Ridgewood Road. Woman's Club of Roland Park. The entire west side of Roland Avenue, into which you are now entering, was the second section of Roland Park to be opened [1901].

1.8 MILES:
Turn right on Kenwood Road, driving one-half block, then turn left into Goodwood Gardens, restricted to stucco houses. The scheme was laid out by Charles Platt. No. 206 is the home of Daniel Willard, President of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

Pin oaks [now zelkova trees] along the street were planted by The Roland Park Company in 1903. Sites of homes and gardens were developed on ground that once was a gravel bank. Keep straight ahead. At left, behind the high privet hedge, 2.0 miles, is the home of Edward H. Bouton, President of The Roland Park Company, with its well-known garden. [Rusty Rocks]

2.1 MILES:
Club Road, bear left: Note treatment of walls in front of homes. Girls' Latin School. The Baltimore Country Club. Roland Park Apartments, an example of apartment architecture in harmony with its setting.
2.3 MILES:
Bear left downhill on Edgevale Road. Golf links of Baltimore Country Club.
2.5 MILES:
Turn right at first cross street, Beechdale Road. At Roland Avenue cross car tracks and continue on the road on which you have been driving (Beechdale Road changes its name to Wyndhurst Avenue at this point). The left side of Wyndhurst Avenue is unrestricted property not in The District.
The right side is the first-built section of Roland Park, where restrictions have been maintained for nearly 40 years. At the railroad tracks you are leaving Roland Park.

3.4 MILES:
Cross Charles Street into St. Alban's Way, entering Homeland, the third major development of The Roland Park Company, opened in the Fall of 1924.
Over fifty varieties of trees have been cataloged in Homeland by the State Forester, oaks predominating. Note the large number of stone houses.

3.5+ MILES:
Bear right into Paddington Road. Paddington Court, a most interesting group of stone houses.

3.8 MILES:
Springlake Way, turn left. Note landscape treatment along the Lakes and the group of three stone houses painted white on the opposite hillside. Palmer & Lamdin, architects.

4.1 MILES:
Turn left around Lake into St. Dunstan's Road.
4.3 MILES:
St. Alban's Way, turn right. 4.6 miles turn around the triangle, returning on St. Alban's Way.

4.9 MILES:
Taplow Road, turn right. Interesting houses on both sides of the street.
To the north, Protestant Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

5.1 MILES:
Charles Street, turn left. Future site of The Cathedral of The Catholic Church. Friends' School.
5.6 MILES:
You are leaving Homeland.

5.7+ MILES:
Notre Dame College of Maryland. To the left, behind the yellow brick wall, is "Evergreen House," the estate of John W. Garrett, United States Ambassador to Italy.
Adjoining is Loyola College.

6.2 MILES:
Cold Spring Lane and entrance to Guilford, the second major development of The Roland Park Company, opened 1913, where you will find many good examples of Colonial architecture. "Sunken Park."
6.3+ MILES:
Turn left at St. Paul Street, immediately bearing left into Greenway. Bedford Square, northern terminus of Guilford street cars; southern terminus of Homeland bus.
Note sidewalks on different levels.

6.5 MILES:
Bear left around Charlcote Place. The first house on the right is a good example of the treatment of a site below the grade of the street. The residence in the center was designed by John Russell Pope.
From its lawns can be seen Washington Monument down the vista of Charles Street.  The brick house at the corner of the side loop (right) is the residence of Dr. Joseph S. Ames, President of the Johns Hopkins University.

6.8 MILES:
Greenway, bear left.
6.9 MILES:
Turn right on Millbrook Road.
7.0 MILES:
St. Paul Street, turn left, following car tracks. Second Presbyterian Church.
7.1 MILES:
Stratford Road, turn left. At the corner is a fine residence in the Spanish feeling, designed by Laurence Hall Fowler.
7.2 MILES:
Turn right on Greenway, Stratford Green is on left. On the right, twin houses, Taylor & Fisher, architects.
7.3+ MILES:
At Highfield Street, turn left. The home on the left with the boxwood follows the architecture of the famous Byrd homestead "Westover" on the James River, Virginia.
The extensive grounds reach Stratford Road. No 211 Highfield Road is the home of Dr.William H. Wilmer, Director of the Wilmer Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital.

7.5 MILES:
At Underwood Road, turn right.
7.6 MILES:
At half-block turn right into Lambeth Road.
At the left on the brow of the hill, formerly stood the mansion of A. S. Abell, the original owner of "Guilford."

7.7 MILES:
Turn left into Greenway. "Little Park."

8.3 MILES:
Site of Protestant Episcopal Cathedral. You are now leaving Guilford. Continue straight across car track, down Greenway. University Baptist Church, John Russell Pope, architect.
8.5 MILES:
Charles Street Circle, bear right to the entrance of the Johns Hopkins University. The buildings of the Johns Hopkins University are before you at the conclusion of the tour, with the Colonial Museum (Carroll Mansion), one of the most famous examples of Georgian architecture, at your right.
Two blocks south, to the right of Charles Street is the Municipal Art Museum, designed by Mr. Pope in association with Mr. Sill."

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