Calvert Hills Historic District
College Park, Prince Georges County
Calvert Hills is a cohesive residential neighborhood located in the City of College Park between the town of Riverdale Park to the south and Old Town College Park to the north. The residential community is nestled between Baltimore Avenue (U.S. 1) to the west and the WMATA metrorail/B&O Railroad right-of-way to the east. The first portion of the neighborhood, platted in 1907 and re-platted in 1921, featured a grid-like plan of rectangular blocks and straight, intersecting streets. The neighborhood was enlarged further by the platting of adjacent parcels of land with a more curvilinear street pattern from 1928 through the 1940s. Calvert Hills is defined by a variety of architectural styles and building types ranging from early-20th century high style to vernacular interpretations of the elaborate styles traditionally erected decades earlier. The building forms and styles extend from the large-scale brick Colonial Revival-style dwelling to the smaller bungalow. Architectural styles presented in Calvert Hills were often diluted, illustrating modest examples of Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and Tudor Revival styles. Three extant dwellings predate the 1907 platting of the neighborhood. Two of these represent diluted interpretations of the Queen Anne style, and the third is an early Colonial Revival-style house which has been enlarged and altered subsequently. The community is primarily made up of single-family dwellings, supported along the borders by multiple-family apartment buildings, a school, and a post office. Many of the properties include freestanding or attached garages and sheds. The buildings, particularly the single-family dwellings, are buffered from the tree-lined public streets by sidewalks and grassy medians. Many of the blocks are divided by alleys which provide access to garages and reduced on-street parking.
Calvert Hills is an excellent illustration of the residential development on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., in the early 20th century. The rural property, historically part of the Calvert family's Rossborough farm and Riversdale Plantation, was subdivided in response to the expanding suburban population, the development of the nearby Maryland Agricultural College (now the University of Maryland at College Park), and the College Park Airport. The middle- and upper-middle class suburban community, which is framed by major transportation corridors, developed further with the advents of the streetcar and the automobile. The neighborhood was conceived as additions to the growing community of College Park, which was located to the immediate north of Calvert Hills. The first of eleven additions, "Fanny A. Calvert's Addition to College Park" was undertaken by the Calvert Family in response to the many speculative development opportunities. The chronological development of Calvert Hills is documented by its residential architecture, which dates from the 1890s to the late 1940s, with minimal infill construction in the latter half of the 20th century. Calvert Hills presents an eclectic collection of imposing Colonial Revival-style houses and more modest examples of Queen Anne, Craftsman, and Tudor Revival styles. Building forms vary from large 2 1/2-story brick and wood frame dwellings to smaller bungalow and Cape Cod residences. The many additions were joined as the neighborhood of Calvert Hills in recognition of the prominent Calvert family and incorporated as part of the Town of College Park in 1945.