Photo credit: Gretchen Redden , Undated Photo

Property Name: Flag House
Date Listed: 10/15/1969
Inventory No.: B-15
Location: 844, Pratt St., E., Baltimore, Baltimore City

Description: Apparently built c. 1793 and added to in 1820, the Flag House is a 2 1/2-story Federal corner rowhouse of salmon brick laid in Flemish bond. Three bays wide on its south or front side, the house was originally three bays long on the east facade, but was expanded to the north by two additional bays. A large chimney protrudes from the west side of the hip roof, and a smaller chimney rises from the north end. Two gable-roofed dormers with 6/6 sash windows pierce the east slope of the roof, and a single dormer pierces the south slope. First and second floor windows throughout hold 9/6 sash. These represent restoration work, as a 1953 photograph shows 6/6 sash on the first floor. First floor windows have paneled shutters, while those on the second floor have louvered shutters. At the time of the photograph, a combination door and shop window comprised the center and east bays of the south facade. This facade has undergone a restoration, and the entrance with a three-light transom and paneled reveal stands in the east bay, with two windows to the left. The center bay of the east facade also contained a door in the 1953 photograph, but this has been restored to a window opening. A brick watertable spans only the south facade. On the interior, the house has a living room, a dining room-kitchen, and hall on the first floor, two bedrooms on the second floor, and servants' quarters on the third. A display building was constructed in the front of the building in the late 19th or early 20th century. After the City of Baltimore purchased the building, the facade was restored to its original appearance, an original interior partition was reconstructed, and steel beams were added under the first floor for greater strength. The staircase and two of the six mantels in the house are original. In 1953 a 1 1/2-story dependency building was constructed to the rear, connected to the main house by a covered breezeway.

Significance: In August of 1813, Mrs. Mary Young Pickersgill and her daughter finished sewing a 15-star, 15-stripe American flag commissioned to be flown over Fort McHenry. The flag measured 30 feet by 42 feet. It flew over Fort McHenry during the British attack on Baltimore, and on the night of September 13-14, 1814, served as the inspiration for a poem by Francis Scott Key which eventually became the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."




close