Charity V. Davidson
10, 12, 14 and 16 East Chase Street
10, 12-14-16, Chase St., E., Baltimore, Baltimore City
Number 10 East Chase Street is a 3 ½-story brick townhouse with a 3-bay front façade, fitted with marble facing from ground to first floor level. The same marble is used for the entrance stoop and stairway, door framing, and window sills. Plain brick jack arches are above each window, and each row of windows decreases in height with each successive story rise. The most prominent feature of the house is a decoratively shingled mansard roof with three round-headed windows set into it. These windows are framed by projecting arched moldings above, decorative flat brackets at upper and lower sides, and projecting sills below. Numbers 12, 14, and 16, by contrast, are identical 3 ½-story, two-bay houses constructed of green serpentine marble with contrasting stone detail, dating from c. 1870-1875. The main floor of each is entered from a high flight of marble steps leading to a pointed-arched, transomed doorway with a double door, each fitted with a single pane of vertical beveled glass. Above the ground level entranceways, which are separated from the street by decorative iron rails, are shallow projecting balconies with identical iron rails supported by three stone brackets (the balcony to #16 has been removed). Opening onto each balcony are paired Gothic windows. Second-story windows are 2/2 sash, individually surrounded with stone frames. Shallow trefoil-arched and pointed lintels with exaggerated keystones project from the façade and are linked by a course of stone. The third floor windows are also pointed-arched, with flat triangular transoms. An elaborate cornice, which returns on the detached end of the row, reinforces the pattern of bays with double sets of spindle brackets separating the six trefoil cutouts above each window bay. At the attic level, six distinctive hip-roofed jerkinhead dormers with triangular transoms above which are a pair of stubby brackets. Decorative shingling on the mansard roofs is carried to the jerkinhead of each dormer, where quatrefoils are picked out in shingling material. Cast-iron floral finials terminate each dormer peak. A band of decorative ironwork, making use of the quatrefoil as the chief element in an ornamental motif, completes the composition at the roofline.
The buildings at 10 and 12-16 East Chase Street are examples of the many rowhouses located in Baltimore. Number 10 is a typical Baltimore rowhouse of the second half of the 19th century. With its plain brickwork and ample windows with splayed brick lintels and stone sills, strong corbeled cornice, Second Empire-like roof covered with patterned statework, it is a form seen in many similar variations around the late third quarter of the 19th century. The buildings at 12-16 East Chase Street are, in contrast, more distinctive, showing what intricacies could be wrought if the owner desired. The three-part structure is believed to have been designed by Bruce Price and/or E. Francis Baldwin, architects of neighboring Christ Church. The group is a fine example of the Gothic Revival as interpreted for domestic architecture: ashlar stonework; paired Gothic windows; large, basically pointed arches, constructed of large voussoirs and keystones, over windows and doors; mansard roof with dormers with jerkinhead roofs; and good Italianate detail, such as the cornice and interior trim. Baltimore is a city well known for its rowhouses, and these fine examples, both typical and unusual, will continue in use, now as apartments.