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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: MHT Files, n.d.
Brewers Hill Historic District
Inventory No.: B-5169
Date Listed: 12/22/2014
Location: Roughly bounded by S. Conkling Street, Eastern Avenue, S. Haven Street and Dillon Street, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: District
Period/Date of Construction: 1870-1940
Architect/Builder: Builders: Philip C. Mueller Building Co.
Boundary Description: Roughly bounded by S. Conkling St., Eastern Ave., S. Haven St., and Dillon St.
Description: The Brewers Hill Historic District comprises a 26-block area in the eastern section of Baltimore, Maryland, bounded by S. Conkling Street on the west, Eastern Avenue on the north, the rear lot lines of S. Haven Street on the east, and Dillon Street on the south. The district is primarily residential, characterized by two-and three-story rowhouses constructed between ca. 1870 and ca. 1940. The city blocks at the northern edge of the district include commercial uses, with two- and three-story Italianate and classical revival-style buildings with storefronts on the ground level and residences above. These buildings date from c. 1870 to the mid-1890s, but most of the storefronts have been modernized. Most of the residential development in the community took place between 1907 and 1914, and is exemplified by two-story brick rowhouses exhibiting classical revival detailing. Several noteworthy early twentieth century factory buildings are still extant at the eastern edge of the district. Significance: The Brewers Hill Historic District is historically significant for its association with a number of prominent late 19th and early 20th century businesses--namely the meat packing industry, the brewing industry, and the nearby Crown Cork & Seal Factory, an important factor in the city's local dominance of the brewing and bottling trade. The district gains additional historic significance for its association with the city's rich history of immigration, as the home of predominantly first- and second-generation German immigrants who worked in the local businesses. Until 1918, the area comprising the historic district was located outside the political boundaries of Baltimore City (in Baltimore County) and thus could have stockyards, dairies, butchering yards, and meat-packing plants that were not allowed in residential city neighborhoods. Two of the early owners and developers of land in the northern section of the district were the butchers William Schluderberg and Thomas Kurdle, who later formed the nationally distributed Esskay Meat Products Company. The block after block of classical-revival-style rowhouses built mainly between 1907 and 1914 are architecturally significant, representing a type of housing associated with a working-class immigrant community in the period. Almost all of the houses were built by one family of second-generation German buildings--The Mueller Family--whose father, a native of Bavaria, arrived in Baltimore in 1852 and began building houses in the eastern section of the city. His five sons operated a large-scale building operation where they bought and developed the land, sold the ground rents they created, and also provided mortgages for their buyers through the two family-run building and loan associations. They built high-quality, but low-cost two-story rowhouses, called at the time "marble houses" because of the marble trim used for lintels, sills, basements, and steps. Each house had stylish stained glass door and first-floor window transoms. After working in East Baltimore, the Mueller family built several distinguished rowhouse communities in the northern sections of the city in the 1920s. The district's period of significance, ca. 1870 to ca. 1940, extends from the construction date of the earliest resources in the community to the World War II era, by which point the physical development of the neighborhood was substantially completed.
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