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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: The Hughes Co., Undated Photo
Mount Clare
Inventory No.: B-7
Other Name(s): Mt. Clare
Date Listed: 5/10/1970
Location: 1500 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1763
NHL Date: 4/15/1970
Description: Mount Clare is a 2-story brick structure with a partial basement and an attic, and is 46' long and 36' deep. The south (rear) wall is laid in all-header bond brickwork above the watertable and the other three walls are laid in an irregular Flemish bond. The roof is gabled and there are two finely decorated brick chimneys on the interior of each gable end. The upper 2/3 of each stack is corbeled so as to achieve a panel-and-cornice effect. The main facades are interesting and different from each other. The north (front) elevation is dominated by a projecting portico with a room over it. The room is lighted by a Palladian window and the gable roof above the room and porch is pedimented, with a fanlight. The portico, 18' wide and 8' deep, has four limestone Doric columns and two half-round pilasters, which support a classical entablature of wood. With its broad portico, the north facade appears to be only three bays wide. Most of the windows on the north elevation and on both gable ends have rounded wooden lintels which are topped by segmented brick arches. All first floor windows have 9/9 sash and those in the second story, 9/6 sash. The cornice on front and rear elevations is boldly modillioned. The south (rear or garden) facade has five bays with the central three projecting in a pavilion which is crowned by a broad pediment. The existing lunette in the center of the pediment is a 19th century replacement; an old painting shows an oval or circular opening in this place. A particularly interesting feature of the south facade is the use of colossal brick pilasters at the corners of the pavilion and house. These pilasters are polychromatic, with the lighter bricks in the center and the dark bricks giving the impression of narrow quoins at the edges. The four 9/9 first-floor windows and five 9/6 second-floor windows on this facade have splayed jack arches, as does the central entrance. The house is three wide bays in width, with a single window in the extreme of each outer bay, and a narrow 6/4 window lighting each attic gable end. The center of the first floor of each gable end is covered by a gable-roofed hyphen, three bays wide. Each semicircular-arched window is surmounted by a brick arch with stone keystone. These are separated by brick pilasters. Connected by these hyphens are gable-roofed dependencies, with their roofs oriented on a perpendicular axis. In each gable end is a single semicircular arched window within a recessed panel, with an oval window in the gable above. The north entrance door of the main house opens into a center hall that extends about halfway through the house. To the left of the main hall is a separate stair hall, and to the right a small office. The second tier of rooms, on the south side, is comprised of two large rooms. The walls of the first rooms are plastered in a manner to give the effect of wooden paneling. Mantels have delicate decorations in the Adam style and may have been added after 1783. There are simple wooden baseboards throughout. Significance: Mount Clare, a brick Georgian plantation house, is the oldest extant colonial structure in the city of Baltimore. Although the reconstructed wings and hyphens do not follow the original plan, the main house has been faithfully restored. During the Civil War the house served as quarters for Union soldiers. After 1865 the house was used as a German beer garden until 1890. It is now a tourist attraction.
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