Thursday, 24 July 2008

A Georgian treasure in West Baltimore

West Baltimore is usually associated with the urban decay and lawlessness depicted in the television series Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire. While it's true that the area is blighted by crime and drugs, there remain a few oases of calm here in the middle of the city.

One such place is Mount Clare, a Georgian manor house standing on a hilltop in what is now Carroll Park. The house was built in 1760 by Charles Carroll, Barrister (so-called to distinguish him from several relatives of the same name). Carroll was a leading figure in Maryland in the cause for independence and went on to serve in the state senate until his death in 1783.

The house was built on Georgia Plantation, a 2,500 acre estate on the banks of the Patapsco River. It replaced an earlier wood-framed dwelling built by Carroll's father.

This handsome brick building is a good example of American Palladianism, with a classic 5-part profile and a Venetian window placed centrally above the colonaded portico.

The rear of the house has a simpler appearance, with a central pediment but without the portico. I prefer it to the front, with its stronger, cleaner lines.

Behind the house, the grounds slope down steeply towards the river.

A view from the house towards downtown Baltimore

The stables, located at the foot of the hill behind the house

Mount Clare is maintained by the Colonial Dames of America and houses a museum of decorative arts. There is an informative website at

1 comment:

Pigtown-Design said...

Terrific pictures! It is truly a treasure!