Greater Homeland Historic District

City of Baltimore, Independent Cities, MD

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The Greater Homeland Historic District [†] occupies land that was historically the country estate of the Perine family located in northeast Baltimore, Maryland. The district embodies the various developments of that estate over the period from ca. 1790 to 1951. The majority of the district, and its principal focus, is a planned residen6al subdivision called Homeland, created by the Roland Park Company beginning in 1925 on the remnant of the Perine Estate. Laid out by the Olmsted Brothers firm, the development took advantage of existing topographical features. They laid out curvilinear streets, retained existing vegetation, and incorporated a series of manmade lakes that bad been created to serve the Perine estate to create the signature feature of the community on Springlake Way. The district also includes a small residential and commercial development which grew on the eastern fringe of the Perine estate in the late 19th and early 20th century; characterized by small frame vernacular houses on rectilinear Jots, this area has come to be known as Old Homeland. Finally, remnants of the Perine occupancy survive in the caretaker's house on Upnor Road ( c.1790), the lakes, and a .5imple Greek Revival Cottage on Bellona A venue ( c.1840).

The Setting and the Layout of the Historic District Lying on one of the more elevated sections of Northeast Baltimore, Greater Homeland's terrain is rolling and its highest point is more than 400 feet above sea level.

Historic District Boundaries

The Historic District is bounded on the south by Homeland Avenue, on the north by Melrose Avenue, on the east by York Road and Bellona Avenue, and on the west in part by North Charles St. and the Stony Run Stream.

Landscape Design For the Roland Park Company's "Homeland" subdivision the Olmsted Brothers designed arterial boulevards, winding secondary streets, and "back-turning" courts. They took advantage of existing topographical features, and incorporated a series of man made lakes that had been created to serve the Perine estate to create the signature feature of the community on Springlake Way. The part of the district that lies east of the alley on the East side of Springlake Way and the East side of the alley associated with Putney Way extends the street patterns present on the east side of Bellona Avenue

Character of the Buildings As the district's period of significance extends from 1790 to 1951, the character of the buildings is varied. Buildings constructed prior to the Roland Park Company development include one residential building from the Federal period, one from the period prior to the Civil War, several dozen residential buildings from the late Victorian period, several late Victorian period commercial buildings and early 20th century revivals

Categories of Resource Types

The district incorporates 38 non-contributing resources and 1616 contributing resources predominantly in the form of single detached houses. There are 44 semi-detached houses, six groups of six houses, four religious institutions, one school, one public library, and eight commercial buildings

Landscape Features

The Olmsted Brothers designed arterial boulevards, winding secondary streets, and "back-turning" courts. Paddington Court, Goodale Place, Middleton Court and Southfield Court were designed to seal off the southern edge of the development bordering Homeland Avenue. The Olmsted Brothers retained and embellished the Perine lakes, making them centerpieces of green that meet at the intersection of Springlake Way and St. Dunstan's Road. St. Dunstan's Garth was designed to efficiently use several deep lots that border the rear of lots on Lyman Avenue. The ellipses on St. Alban's recall the oval in front of a mansion that once stood just north of these landscape features.

Main Thoroughfares

North Charles Street, Northern Parkway, Springlake Way, St. Alban's Way, Homeland Avenue, Woodboume Avenue, York Road and Bellona Avenue North Charles Street Avenue offers a wide vista that sets a tone of grandeur and importance.

Secondary Roadways

Benningbaus Road, Brackenridge Avenue, Broadmoor Road, Broxton Road, Churchwarden's Road, Cotswold Road, Croydon Road, Enderly Road, Goodale Road, Lyman Avenue, Markland Avenue, Paddington Road, Purlington Road, Putney Road, Rosebank Avenue, St. Dunstan's Road, Taplow Road, Thornhill Road, Tilbury Way, Tunbridge Road, Upnor Road, Willowmere Way, Witherspoon Road

Infrastructure

One reason that the Roland Park Company was successful in the creation of suburban communities was the careful attention it gave to infrastructure. The Roland Park Company's "Homeland" is typical of this. The improvements include roads, curbs and sidewalks, storm sewers, separate sanitary sewers, electric and telephone wires carried in underground conduits, a water distribution system, a gas distribution system, street lights and street signs.

Sidewalks

The sidewalks, which are of concrete, were treated so as to expose the varied colors of the gravel and particles of crushed stone. The resulting surface is pleasing in its color and a slightly roughened texture

The largest proportion of the buildings (36%) in the district are designed in the Federal Revival Style. 11% are Tudor Revival Style buildings, 6% Georgian Revival Style, and 2% in the Dutch Colonial Style. Each of the remaining 15 design styles represents less than 2% of the total of 1654 buildings in this district. But their impact is far greater than their number. The Gothic Revival style was employed for several churches. Although thirty architects are represented by two or more commissions in the district, the work of Edward Palmer, Jr. is by far the most important. Palmer was the resident architect for the Roland Park Company from 1905 to 19 l 8, and as an architectural consultant to the Company until his death in 19 52. The early work of J. Winthrop Wolcott and Cyril H. Hebrank and the later work of John A. Ahlers also are of importance to the district.

Architectural stles represented in the Historic District

Federal Revival

This style is primarily based on Greek and Roman architectural orders. It includes early Federal stylistic subtypes, in part influenced by the Adam brothers. There are 598 houses of this style in the district.

Tudor Revival

Roofs of houses in this style typically have a steep pitch. These houses employ irregular massing, multiple gables and a variety of surface textures and materials including stone, brick and stucco. A house of this style usually has windows varying in size and shape, and often employs leaded glass casement style windows. Half-timbering and carved wood or stone elements are used for decoration. There are 188 houses of this style in the district.

Georgian Revival

This category describes a broad range of architecture that includes design elements in English and German colonial settlements of the Eastern seaboard. Common to this category are straightforward, rectangular massing, simple, gable roofs, and symmetrically organized facades. Massing variations involve either a linear arrangement of secondary volumes or a perpendicular arrangement with subsidiary volumes to the side or rear. Front facades are almost always symmetric with a central entry. Character defining features include window arrangements, typically double-hung, multi-pane and placed in vertical, rectangular openings. Ornamentation is usually applied to window and door openings, eaves, cornices lines, and gable ends. In many cases elaborate decorative treatments at the main entrances feature full or broken pedimented surrounds, transoms, side and fanlights and are enhanced with a portico based on the classic orders. Cornices are often detailed with

Dutch Colonial Revival

This style incorporates design elements used in Dutch colonial settlements of the Eastern seaboard. Nearly all examples have a gambrel roof. Several have the gentle curved front slope found on early Dutch houses in New Jersey and New York. Facade designs freely borrow from Georgian and Federal style elements. There are 40 houses of this style in the district.

Cape Cod Revival

The Cape Cod Revival is distinctive for it one and one half story form with dormers on the front facade. This was the style of the first house approved by the Roland Park Company in their development and it continued to be used in the district until the late 1960's. There are 26 houses of this style in the district.

Victorian Gothic

Roofs typically have a steep pitch. These houses employ irregular massing, multiple gables and less variety of surface textures then in more sophisticated styles. A semi-circular topped single window is usually found in the front gable. There are 32 houses of this style in this district.

Queen Anne

With their steeply pitched roofs of irregular shape, Queen Anne houses are distinctive for their dominant front-facing gable and design devices that avoid a smooth-walled appearance. They have asymmetrical facades with a partial or full-width porch. There are 23 houses of this style in this district.

Williamsburg Revival

During the early years of the restoration of Williamsburg, Virginia, several Baltimore architects designed houses that copied the massing and some detailing found on these houses. Most have the Swedish gambrel roof. Wrenn, Lewis & Jencks, Lawrence A Menefee, Marvin Fenton, Jamison & Marcks and James Cox used this style for houses in the district. There are twelve houses of this style in this district.

French Eclectic

This style incorporates tall, steeply pitched hip roofs, usually with asymmetrical massing. Doors in these asymmetrical houses are usually set in simple arched openings. Doors in symmetric and formal houses may be surrounded by stone quoins or more elaborate Renaissance detailing i.e., pilasters and pediments. Windows may be either double hung or in casement sashes, the latter having small leaded panes. Dormers use a hipped-roof or are gabled. There are twelve houses of this style in the district.

French Renaissance Revival Style

Buildings in the French Renaissance Revival style reflect planned formalism, with rectangular massing and symmetric facades. Semi-circular topped window openings are frequently used. Distinguishing characteristics are the highly ornamented front entrance and a massive, steeply pitched hip roof There are seven houses of this style in this district.

Monterey

Two stories, with low-pitched gabled roof this style has a second-story balcony cantilevered and covered by the principal roof. Paired windows and false shutters are common. There are six houses of this style in the district.

Ranch

Asymmetrical one-story shapes with large window-panes and low-pitched roofs dominating the building are typical of this style.

Norman Cottage

This style has a tall, steeply pitched gabled roof and a prominent round tower with a conical roof The tower generally houses the principle doorway and the facades are asymmetrical. There are 5 houses of this style in this district.

Usually two stories in height, houses of this design are characterized by a low-pitched hipped or flat roof with widely overhanging eaves supported by decorative brackets as well as by tall, narrow windows.

Spanish Eclectic Style

One house in the district exemplifies this style, with the characteristic red-tiled roofs of low pitch with no overhang. WalJs are plastered. A balcony with railing of wrought iron frames a second floor window. On a single elevation, windows vary in size and they are asymmetrically disposed with board expanses of wall between them.

Italian Renaissance Revival Style

The roofs of these houses have a low-pitched roof that is either ridged and truncated or hipped. They have rectangular massing and asymmetrical facades. The shape of window openings sometimes contrast on different floors.

Bungalow

The examples found in this district are modified versions of Craftsman style houses. Many features have over time have been eliminated.

Mansard

As found in this district, the one example of this design is a two story symmetrical square house with the mansard roof uninterrupted except for dormers.

Jacobethan Revival

One house in the district reflects this style in its general design. The symmetrical fa~ade includes two bay windows. Other windows are rectangular. The end gables rise above the gambrel roof and contain centrally located chimneys, each of which has several shafts.

Contemporary

This category includes those building designed after World War II that have traditional massing and openings but omit most traditional detailing. There are four buildings in this category.

Late Gothic Style

This style apparent in the design of two churches of the district involves masonry construction and vaulted roofs. The Late Gothic buildings found in this district use English motifs

Statement of Significance

The Greater Homeland Historic District is significant under Criterion A for its association with the suburbanization of Baltimore, Maryland. The majority of the district is comprised of the Homeland subdivision, a project of the Roland Park Company, which was responsible for several of Baltimore's premier suburban developments beginning with Roland Park in the 1890s. The undertakings of the Roland Park Company are characterized by a comprehensive approach to all aspects of planning and construction, and an unfailingly high standard of quality in architecture and landscape design. The district derives additional significance under Criterion C as an example of a type of suburban development characteristic of the period. Laid out under the direction of the Olmsted Brothers firm, the development reflects Olmstedian landscape design principles in its curvilinear streets and respect for existing topography and vegetation. The houses constructed within the development exemplify a variety of early 20 century revival styles, and exhibit a consistently high degree of quality in their design and construction. The district also includes an area to the east known as Old Homeland, a neighborhood of late 19th- and early 20th century residential and commercial buildings that developed on the eastern fringe of the Perine estate.

Resource History and Historic Context

Integration of Physical, Architectural, and Social Planning

It was while Edward Bouton was president of the Roland Park Company that the company became involved in the development of Homeland. In Homeland as in other Roland Park developments, Bouton's developmental plan consisted of three major parts. One of these parts had to do with physical planning to establish roads, plantings, infrastructure that enhanced the natural site. A second part had to do with deed restrictions. Despite the unfortunate aspect of preventing some types of residents from living in his developments, it had the effect of enforcing overall aesthetic integration of site and home design. The third part involved his setting aside specific parcels of land for community uses, such as, parks, schools, churches, clubs, and commerce. Additionally he established homeowners associations, garden clubs and provided certain other services and activities.

Olmstedian Landscape Design

Prior to the involvement of the Roland Park Company in the development of Homeland, it had developed a successful relationship with the Olmsted Brothers in the course of developing Guilford. In keeping with a commission to design the landscape of Homeland, many of the design features that had worked for the Olmsteds in planning the campus of the John Hopkins University and Guilford were introduced into Homeland. Among these were the avoidance of clear-cutting, a hierarchy of roads and alleys that was designed in harmony with the natural contours of the land, an emphasis on sequencing of progressively unfolding vistas, attention to green spaces of varied sized and functions, and a creative integration of buildings to sites and a mix of housing for different economic levels. What does not appear in the plan was the additional factor of encouraging restrictions on the land that would maintain perpetual design control.

Edward L. Palmer, Jr.'s Influence on the Architecture of Roland Park Company Developments Edward L. Palmer, Jr. was Roland Park Company's first resident architect and he directed the architectural work of that company up to 1935. Palmer and Bouton had traveled to Europe in 1911 just prior to the development of Guilford to enlarge the collection of architectural designs that could be used in Baltimore. Palmer explained that the company's houses are not mere copies of work done abroad but are distinctly American architecture. Stylistic sameness was not sought in any of the Roland Park Company developments, nor did designers strive to generate correct renditions of historical styles except in a few cases.

Architectural Contribution

The use of architecture as one of the fundamental elements of neighborhood design motivated Bouton to develop a system of architectural planning. Unwilling to mandate style or form, the company sought a degree of design compatibility by requiring that site development play a significant role in home design. Site development included the street, the lot and the surrounding landscape as well as the surrounding homes. Further, each site (and its alteration) and house for that site had to be approved by the company before construction.

Architectural Character of the District

Architects working in the Roland Park Company's Homeland viewed design as an artistic endeavor that could provoke social reform and significantly improve the physical environment. This understanding of architecture as a social art facilitated the Roland Park Company's developments as a distinct physical and social entity. The architects designing houses for the Roland Park Company's Homeland demonstrated a broad vision of their art. They embraced the earliest ideas of the City Beautiful Era in creating comprehensive suburban design based on unification of the arts, fine art, landscape and architectural design.

There are two exceptional churches in the district. The Gothic Revival style Church of the Redeemer on North Charles Street was designed by Richard Snowden Andrews and constructed in 1856. The original church has been carefully preserved and now serves as a chapel, adjoining a larger church designed in 1958 by Pietro Belluschi. Even though the 1958 building falls outside the period of significance, it is recognized as a masterpiece of contemporary design being a successful blend of elements of the new and old into an organic unity. The Govans Presbyterian Church on York Road, dedicated in 1846, is one of several works attributed to the early Baltimore architect Robert Cary Long, Jr.; the tower, designed by Bayard Turnbull, was added in 1906.

Historu of Greater Homeland

Over the years, the term "Homeland" has had several territorial referents, not all of which are exactly coterminous with the boundaries of the Historic District which is the subject of this nomination.

Though the City of Baltimore was first laid out in 1730 and it was incorporated in 1797, it did not include the area far to its north that we now know as Homeland until long after that time. Originally a part of a large tract of land, which was called the Stony Run Valley the northern most part of which was patented in 1694. i.\. certain David Perine both this part in 1832 and over the next forty-three years added adjacent property until in 1875, he owned as estate of391 acres. This parcel was known by the name of Homeland. The borders of the land associated with that name changed from time to time. For example, around 1856 David Perine donated land to the newly founded congregation of the Church of the Redeemer. Still, the boundaries of Greater Homeland essentially correspond to those of the Perine family's Homeland estate at its largest. In 1880's, the Perine family allowed parts of the eastern perimeter of their estate to be bought and used to develop housing (the area referred to as "Old Homeland" in this nomination).

Even in the mid-1880' s, this housing as well as the Perine estate were located in a rural setting as the northern boundary of Baltimore City through annexation bad just reached North Avenue. North of Baltimore City were many sparsely populated country estates not much different from Homeland. As a result of an annexation of a significant amount of land to its north, many of these estates where incorporated within Baltimore in 1881. The fate of these estates was destined to change further when in 1891 a syndicate of capitalists joined together to form the Roland Park Company to develop a suburban town north of densely settled area of Baltimore.

In 1919, the Perin es donated a parcel of their land on what is now called Bellona A venue for the construction of a branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. After the city turned down an offer from them to purchase most remaining parts of Homeland for a park around 1924, the Roland Park Company stepped in to make the purchase. After razing the Perine family mansion located at the present-day intersection of St. Alban's Way and Witherspoon Road, the Company commissioned the nationally prominent Olmsted Brothers firm to undertake a comprehensive landscape design.

The Roland Park Company invested more than a million dollars in implementing the Olmsted design, including grading, road building, laying sewers, water mains, and underground utility lines. The lakes on the property were embellished as focal green areas near the intersection of Springlake Way and St. Dunstan's Road. The sale of lots began in late 1924 with building rights being carefully regulated according to high standards of town planning. Due largely to the good reputation of the Roland Park Company because of their earlier undertakings in Roland Park and Guilford, 89 lots were purchased in Homeland on the first day they were put on the market. Moreover, the Company reserved six lots on which it would build houses of especially high quality to model high design standards for the part of Homeland that it was then developing. The first house approved for Homeland in December of 1924 was Herbert C. Aiken's Cape Cod in the 5100 block of Springlake Way. In May 1925, lots were sold on Dunstan's Road, Witherspoon Road, Upnor Road, and Tunbridge Road from Charles Street to St. Alban' s Way. In April 1926, the Company announced it would construct three houses in Homeland. These were the J. Winthrop Wolcott's Tudor at 104 Witherspoon Road, another according to the same plan at 5201 Springlake Way, and the Federal Revival designed by Edward Palmer at 116 Upnor Road

While maintaining its authority to approve design and to enforce deed restrictions, the Company allowed McHenry Keyser, a banker, to develop the section of Homeland from 300 to 310 Taplow Road between 1927 and 1929, a period immediately preceding a major collapse of financial markets in this country. J. Winthrop Wolcott and Edward H. Glidden, Jr. were the architects of the Tudor Revival and Norman Cottage homes and it was understood that they were designing for young couples with somewhat limited resources. Wolcott's houses in the 300 block were built in 1927 at numbers 300, 30 I , 303, 305, 308, and 310. By the end of 1928, Glidden's houses had been built at numbers 307,309, 312, 314, and 316.

Around the same time in 1927, Palmer, Willis and Lamdin were making plans to design houses that would be built by C.K. Wells on the south side of Paddington Way (now Paddington Court). Five groups of houses were to be involved and construction on them began at the end of November 1927 and was completed in the spring of the next year. Paddington Court, Goodale Place, Middleton Court and Southfield Court were designed in such a manner as to seal off the southern edge of the Company's Homeland development. The Company eventually realized Homeland could provide for well-to-do homeowners. With this realization, Bouton, the Company President when Homeland was being developed, instructed the architects Edward Palmer and Laurence Hall Fowler to produce plans for impressive mansions, especially close to prestigious Charles Street.

To execute Bouton's plan to attract to Homeland some clients seeking homes in Guilford, five large houses were constructed along Charles Street by Palmer and Lamdin, Laurence Hall Fowler and William Gordon Beecher between l 928 and 1930. Included were the Tudor Revival at 10 l Witherspoon Road and the French Renaissance Revival at 100 Upnor Road by Palmer and Lamdin; The Georgian Revival at 100 Witherspoon Road and the French Renaissance Revival at l 01 St. Dunstan' s Road by Laurence Hall Fowler; the Georgian Revival at 100 St. Alban's Way by William Gordon Beecher.

In May of l 927, the Company announced that Homeland was to be developed up to Melrose Avenue along Alban's Way. In August of 1929 the section of Homeland north of Taplow Road and west of St. Alban's was opened. This included a section of Northern Parkway and Churchwarden's Road west of St. Alban's Way. In 1929 Harold Holmes Wrenn, Architect built the first house north of East Northern Parkway at 202 E. Northern Parkway. This was his residence. Edward Palmer built his home, a Tudor Revival Style home in 1929 at l 00 Churchwarden's Road. The Stock Market crash occurred in late October 1929 and the first exhibition House had opened on October 21, eight days before the crash.

Throughout the Depression the company took many measures including restructurings and refinancings to remain solvent. By April of 1931 most of the houses constructed were south of Taplow Road between Bellona and St. Alban's Way with the exception of Broadmoor Road and Woodboume Road.

A style new to Baltimore was introduced in 1930 by Palmer and Lamdin's Monterey Style house at 5211 Springlake Way. This design could have been inspired by Roland Coate's 1927 D.D. Cotton house in Montecito, California. This unique example by the Palmer office was followed by John Ahlers' Monterey in 1936 located at 211 St. Dunstan's. More examples appear after the war such as James Cox's 1947 Monterey Revival at 209 Churchwarden's Road and examples at 5604 Enderly (c.1960) and 5618 St. Alban's Wa~ (c.1956) Monterey Style houses are not found in any other Roland Park project, except Homeland.

The Company generated new techniques to stay afloat. One was a plan for "one stop house shopping". Quoting from the August 1934 issue of Gardens, Houses, & People/Facts About The Plan for Home Building Made Easy "First telephone Tuxedo 1300 and make an appointment to visit a number of houses selected for your inspection, to help decide what you want most in a house. Then discuss these with the Company's architect [John A. Ahlers]. Then an architectural sketch wiJJ be made for you, showing in color, the outside appearance of your house, interior plan and all the essential details. Then a definite quotation will be made by an experienced and reliable contractor, on the cost of building the house complete on any suitable lot you may select. Then full details of all financial arrangements will be carefully explained and confirmed in writing. Then if you find that the house that you want is within your means, you keep the sketch, select your lot, go to any architect (The Company's or one of your own choosing), and have final plans prepared. The architect will take care of all details of [the] plan, contract with the builder, and supervision of the work. All financial matters will be carried out as previously arranged. From then on you can, if you prefer, follow every detail of the work or you can dismiss the matter from your mind. Soon your new house will be ready for you". The evidence shows that this plan worked for the Company and we find another advertisement in September of 1936. "The Roland Park Company, through Mr. John A. Ahlers, its architect, will be glad to show you house plans that are now available; at the same time have a reliable builder give you complete figures on the cost, and the details of financing."

House designs inspired by the restoration of houses in Williamsburg, Virginia started to appear in Northwood in 1936 (Kenneth C. Miller), John A. Ahlers in Kemper Green early in 1937(north ofW. Northern Parkway) and the firm of Wrenn, Lewis & Jencks in January of 1937 at 110, 112 and 114 Witherspoon Road.

In a major move the company turned over to Joseph Meyerhoff the land on Paddington and Broadmoor Roads in 1936. He built the houses and then after he sold them he paid the company for the land. He used the name — the Property Sales Company. The 300 block of Paddingtion Road was developed by this Company. From 1936 to 1940 21 buildings were constructed. They were all designed by Kenneth C. Miller. Building activity during 1937 amounted to 50 houses. This included seven large houses in the northern section. By the end of 1937 a total of 545 houses had been built.

In 1939 all the sections of Homeland east of Springlake Way to York Road were developed with the exception of Broadmoor Road that was opened late in 1939. St. Mary's Church on York Road was completed in 1942 and the associated school later in 1952. The Grace United Methodist Church on North Charles Street started construction in 1950 and the Friends Meeting House opened that same year.

Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and the Olmsted Tradition

Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. was trained by his father and is the direct inheritor of Olmsted design principles. Olmsted Sr. vehemently deplored the gridiron pattern that characterized many cities as disregarding nature by pushing its way in straight lines into swamps, over hills, across streams, and through woodlands. He thought it to be despotic toward nature. Olmsted viewed the compactness of towns as old-fashioned due to defensive requirements associated with military despotism; or as economically required to sell parcels of land by speculators in so-called equal lots and he viewed the packing together of dwelling houses in blocks as unwholesome. Olmsted wanted the land which cities had set aside for parks to be interwoven with a system of parkways. As extensions of the parks, the parkways would beautify the cities, provide pleasant, comfortable means of recreational driving and walking, makes access to the parks easier for all, and give commercial traffic an ease of maneuver at least in the case of the grandest parkways where there were central ways with service ways on each side. Parkways were thought of as part of the ideal municipality that would have a united system of attenuated park strips in the form of parkways.

Within the range of his parks and parkway system, Olmsted included plans for residential suburbs which would incorporate the conveniences of the city with the advantages of the country. He considered overall metropolitan systems which united parks, parkways, and suburbs to be the unification of art and science in order to achieve the enjoyment of wholesome forms of domestic life. In the non-congested parts of the city and in outlying areas he could utilize the advantage of relatively cheaper, unused land and was not required to contend with an established street pattern. He could create de novo a residential neighborhood or community which would embody completely his own ideas of planning. Olmsted noted a pattern where city dwellers tended to move to outlying areas to get away from commercial development. He believed that problems of shops, stores, cheap tenements, boarding houses, and taverns filling various districts with noise, smoke, bustle, and vehicular congestion where every street — however narrow or steep — might potentially become some type of business thoroughfare without some kind of restrictions. To preserve the integrity of the neighborhood, Olmsted devised a street system to discourage the location of commercial activities which depend upon easy assess to them. The shops and stores would remain on the periphery of the subdivisions on the main city thoroughfares form which deliveries and calls might be made.

Edward H. Bouton, President of the Roland Park Company and the Beginnings of the Planning Profession

Born in Kansas City in 1859, Bouton's early life was a clutter of abandoned vocations and wanderings, offering little explanation for his remarkable achievements in suburban land development. After stints as a grocer, law student and law librarian, he abandoned both hometown and the law to become a Colorado cattle and sheep rancher. But by 1886, Bouton was working in Kansas City as a real estate and title insurance salesman, making his mark as a successful developer by directing settlement of the Kansas City subdivision, Dwight.

When late in 1893 the syndicate that sponsored the development of Roland Park went into receivership this gave Bouton the opportunity to organize a local group to buy out the interests of the Lands Trust Company. This centralized decision making and freed Bouton to embark upon a remarkable self education program. As the plan and character of Roland Park gradually took from, so Bouton slowly and purposefully entered the planning profession, which in those years was itself struggling for selfdefinition. From his first years on the job, Bouton demonstrated an understanding of the latest developments in sanitation, road construction, architecture and landscape design. His high standards led him to retain prominent designers. Bouton was persistent in his pursuit of planning expertise and provided himself the necessary training by interacting with these professionals. It is with this board understanding of all the components of urban-suburban planning that Bouton undertook the planning of Homeland. He trained himself during the development of Roland Park and now all that experience had prepared him for the successful development of Guilford and later Homeland and Northwood.

With Edward H. Bouton as its head, the Roland Park Company embarked upon a course of major planned urban development in Baltimore that had few precedents in America and that few could have anticipated. It was a type of urban development that was on the cutting edge of all that was thought progressive and it was fully in tune with the City Beautiful Movement. At the same time that it pushed toward two heights in architectural and landscape design, it was sufficiently elitist to significantly influence, if not reorganize, the social fabric of society in all the areas that it touched.

Bouton's contributions to vigorous discussions of planning concepts at the turn of the century were significant. He made presentations at conferences and exhibitions in the United States such as the National Conference on City Planning, the National Housing Conference, American City Planning Institute and the conference of Developers of High Class Residential Property. Internationally, Bouton attended English Garden City conferences and had an exhibit at the International Housing and Town Planning Exhibition in Berlin in 1930. After World War I, Bouton was selected by a congressional committee to provide planning assistance to Poland. In mid 1919 Bouton visited Warsaw, Poland, and developed a large-scale plan for improvements of Polish cities and towns.

DEVELOPMENT COMPONENTS IN THE ROLAND PARK COMPANY'S "HOMELAND"

Deed Restrictions

Bouton fashioned the company's deed restrictions to preserve public zones and monitor the design of the lot as well as the home. The deed restrictions reserved for the company the power of design review: all site and floor plans, elevations and exterior color schemes required approval prior to construction. The design review was not used to mandate architect or style, rather, these guidelines permitted the company to supervise architectural design on an ad-hoc basis, thereby encouraging individualized design that was compatible with the lot, the larger landscape of the physical plan, and the surrounding structures. There was an underlying architectural principle of comprehensive landscape and architectural design. Homes respond to the different aspects of their landscape: the immediate landscape of the lot; the public landscape of sidewalk and street; and distant landscape of the surrounding valleys and hills. This relationship of site and structure was a deliberate, ongoing concern of the company. The integrated design of home and landscape constitutes a vital but subtle common denominator in the Company's efforts.

Architectural Department

Organized in 1905 its primary purpose was to design houses to be built by the Company. The purpose was enlarged to furnishing full architectural services for individual clients, obtaining competitive estimate on the work, preparing detailed drawings, and supervision of the construction.

Engineering Department

This full service department was prepared to carry out the company's projects as well as furnishing engineering services to individual clients. The department provided topographic maps which included the location of all trees, sewer and drain pipes, water and gas mains.

Building Department

This department was prepared to offer definite bids on any work submitted to it.

Gardening Department

Under the direction of a landscape architect, this department was prepared to provide plans for grading and planting of private estates or company developed lots. The Company had its own nursery located on Joppa Road.

Grading and Job Work Department

This department was equipped to execute all kinds of work in connection with road building, the grading and top-soiling of lots, laying sidewalks and concrete work of all kinds.

Committee for Approval of Plans for Homeland, 1925

The Company appointed an Advisory Board of architects and planners prior to the initiation of its subdivision of Guilford in 1911, and requested it to make a study of the whole subject of the type of houses to be erected. This first Board developed the following guiding principle:

"That, in the expression of the individual tastes and preferences of those desiring to build at Guilford, the Architects to be employed by them should be allowed, in the selection of types of architecture as well as of building materials, the widest latitude consistent with the attainment and preservation of an effect of general harmony—it being clearly recognized that such harmony may readily exist whether neighboring houses are similar or different in architectural style."

A Committee with a similar mission guided the Company's subsequent projects. In August 1925 the Committee for Approval of Plans for Homeland included Joseph Evans Sperry, Howard Sill and Edward L. Palmer Jr., and by June 1926 Lawrence Hall Fowler and J. Winthrop Wolcott were added to the committee.

ARCHITECTS WHO SIGNIFICANTLY INFLUENCED THE DESIGN OF THE ROLAND PARK COMPANY'S "HOMELAND"

Edward L. Palmer, Jr. (1878-1952)

After 1905, Roland Park Company's first resident architect, Edward L. Palmer exerted a major influence on development of the later plats of Roland Park and on Guilford and Homeland. Palmer's father after whom he was named was a real estate agent in Baltimore. Palmer, Jr. trained at John Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania. He served as resident architect from 1905 to 1918, and as an architectural consultant from 1918 until his death in 1952. These positions included design and design review. It was his opinion that a thoughtful recasting of European prototypes as opposed to a collaging of disparate stylistic elements, he believed, would yield a distinct, admirable American architecture. Palmer was a pioneer in working out the theory, technique and legal basis for the restricted development. Palmer or his office designed 59 houses for Homeland between 1925 and 1937.

Cyril Henry Hebrank (b. 1891) Born in Baltimore in 1891, he graduated from Saint James Parochial School, Baltimore, in 1905 and from Calvert Hall College in 1910, and from Maryland Institute in 1913. From 1911 to 1914 he worked on the office of Edward L. Palmer, Jr. and received architectural training at the University of Pennsylvania from which he graduated in 1916. He returned to the Palmer office but a short period of time before he was given a commission in the United State Army from which he was discharged in 1919. He worked in the architectural office of Shattuck and Hussey in Chicago until 1922. For that office he designed the Rockefeller group of hospitals in China at Peiping and Shanghai. During this time he also worked as an assistant in the offices of Sill, Buckler and Fenhagen; Theodore W. Pietsch; and Taylor and Fisher. Before Hebrank entered practice on his own (1924) he worked briefly in the office of Smith and May. In 1925, Hebrank became a major contributor to the architecture of Homeland from the period of 1925 to 1949 designing 90 houses. John Winthrop Wolcott (circa 1890-1965) Wolcott designed 45 houses in Homeland between 1925 and 1948. There is evidence that Wolcott and Howard F. Baldwin worked together in 1928. Wolcott and Edward Hughes Glidden, Jr. shared an office lt 18 East Lexington Street in Baltimore in the 1930' s.

John A. Ahlers (1895-1983). Born in Oberhausen Germany in 1895, John Ahlers came to the United States at the age of 9 in 1915 with his parents. His education consisted of elementary school in Baltimore, a preparatory school in upstate New York State and St. Boniface College in Winnepeg, Manitoba where he received a B.A. degree (1915-1919). After graduating from college he returned to Baltimore and began work as a draftsman in Baltimore for the General Contractor: John T. Bramble (1920-1922). The Dean of Baltimore Architects, Joseph Evens Sperry saw his work and invited him to join his firm. Ahlers worked 5 years as Designer and Senior Draftsman in Sperry's office (1923 to 1928). During that time Ahlers studied at the Beaux-Arts Institute in New York City. Ahlers graduated from the Beaux-Arts Institute of Architectural Design in New York while employed in Sperry's Office. In 1928 he opened his own office and was employed by the Robinson and Slagle Company to design the "Tuscany Row Houses" in Tuscany-Canterbury. The success of that project brought him to the attention of Edward Bouton, president of the Roland Park Company who employed Ahlers in 1929 to design Northwood. AhJers designed the first 50 houses for Northwood and thus casting the character of that community. Ahlers designed in Northwood 86 houses, in Homeland 49 houses, in Guilford 12 houses and in Tuscany-Canterbury 33 houses for a total of 180 in those communities. Others are found in The Orchards and Hurstleigh (now Woodbrook). In 1935 he became the supervising architect for the Company and exercised design approval for houses in Homeland and Northwood. Ahlers returned to private practice late in 1941. He designed the Gothic Revival style recitation building that was added to Loyola High School in 1933. The school is located at Boyce Avenue and Chestnut Road. In association with Frank Murphy of Washington D.C. and James R Edmunds of Baltimore be designed the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Homeland at York and Tunbridge Road (1941). In association with Harvey Warwick of Washington D.C. be designed the Northwood and Pentridge apartment complexes (1938 & 1940). Ahlers designed the chapel for the mother house of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (Villa Assumpta) located on Charles Street and Bellona Avenue (1955). He contracted the art deco sculptor Lee Laurie do a large Madonna for this commission.

Kenneth Cameron Miller (1897-1975) born in Millville, New Jersey moved to Baltimore in his teens, attended Baltimore Public Schools and the Maryland Institute. He began work as an engineer with J.K.E. Diffenderfer in 1922. In 1927 he started his career as an architect with Harold A Stillwell. He started work with Joseph Meyerhoff z(Monumental Properties) in the 1930's and was one of the principal architects for that Corporation. Miller designed Eastport Mall, Westport Mall and hundreds of homes in Homeland, Northwood and many other parts of Northeast Baltimore. Miller designed 159 houses for Homeland.

Laurence Hall Fowler (1877-1971) Born in Catonsville, he graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 1898, studied briefly at Columbia University before returning to Baltimore to practice 1rchitecture. He worked with Wyatt and Nolting and then opened his own office in 1906. Most of Fowler's work was private homes. He designed approximately eighty houses in the mid-Atlantic states. He designed 6 houses in Tuscany-Canterbury and the original Calvert School (1923). He designed his own residence in Tuscany-Canterbury at number 10 West Highfield Road. He served on the architectural review committee of the Roland Park Company during the construction of Guilford and Homeland: designing many houses in both of those developments, 18 in Guilford 1913-1929, 3 in Homeland 1929-1930 and 6 in Tuscany-Canterbury.

Architects Who Made Noteworthy Individual Contributions

Robert Cary Long, Jr. (1810-1849)

Long designed the first major Gothic Revival church in Baltimore in 1841 (St. Alphonsus' Church at Park Avenue and Saratoga Street) and in 1847 he designed the Franklin Street Presbyterian Church. Long established in Baltimore the taste for Gothic Style in church buildings that lasted for a generation. The Govans Presbyterian Church on York Road, 1846, is attributed to Long.

Pietro Belluschi (1899-1994). American architect ofltalian birth. He graduated in civil engineering from the University of Rome (1922) and went to Cornell University, and remained in USA, moving to Portland Oregon. His first major commission was for extensions to the Portland Art Museum (1929), which brought him national acclaim. Eschewing the fashionable historicizing trends in favor of simple, unpainted wooden buildings with gently pitched roofs, integrated with their natural sites, he drew inspiration from the Modern Movement and Japanese architecture. Belluschi was known as a practitioner of the North Western Regional Style. The Pan Am building (NYC) remains his most imposing work but his houses of worship rise to equal importance. Among his Baltimore structures are the 1958 Church of the Redeemer, Goucher College Center and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Adapted from: Dean R Wagner, Consultant, Greater Homeland Historic District, 2001, nomination document, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Bellona Avenue • Benninghaus Road • Brackenridge Avenue • Brackenridge Court • Broadmoor Road • Broxton Road • Charles Street North • Churchwardens Road • Cotswold Road • Croydon Road • Enderly Road • Enfield Road • Goodale Place • Goodale Road • Homeland Avenue • Lyman Avenue • Markland Avenue • Middleton Court • Northern Parkway East • Northern Parkway West • Paddington Court • Paddington Road • Purlington Way • Putney Way • Rosebank Avenue • Saint Albans Way • Saint Dunstans Garth • Saint Dunstans Road • Southfield Place • Springlake Way • Taplow Road • Thornhill Road • Tilbury Way • Turnbridge Road • Upnor Road • Willowmere Way • Witherspoon Road • Woodbourbne Avenue • York Road


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