Fred B. Shoken, 12/1981
Franklin Square Historic District
Bounded by N. Monroe, W. Mulberry, N. Carey, and W. Baltimore Streets, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Period/Date of Construction:
1839 to early 20th century
Bounded by I-70, North Carey Street, West Baltimore Street, and North Monroe Street
Franklin Square is a 19th century rowhouse neighborhood developed along a strict grid street pattern. A one square block public park, Franklin Square, is a focal point for the area and provides a relaxing public space in the midst of a heavily urbanized area. The most elaborate rowhousing surrounds the square, however two mid-20th-century school buildings intrude on the 19th century environment. The rowhousing in the area is generally brick and three stories in height with characteristic Baltimore flat façades and fine detailing. Some bowed front rowhousing and later rowhouse types are extant on the northern and western edges of the district. A few large stone churches are located within the Franklin Square area. The district contains approximately 1300 buildings of which approximately 1250 contribute to the significance of the historic district.
The Franklin Square area is primarily significant as one of the most architecturally distinguished mid-19th century rowhouse neighborhoods in Baltimore City. The area centers on a 2 ½-acre square of public park which was donated to the City by the developers of surrounding housing to ensure a quality neighborhood and a successful real estate venture. This development procedure can be considered an early form of community planning in Baltimore. The rowhouse architecture built in the Franklin Square area epitomizes traditional Baltimore rowhouse architecture which stresses a flatness and simplicity of brick façades with fine details to accentuate windows, doors, and roof lines. Immediately surrounding Franklin Square are some of Baltimore’s most distinguished rowhouse groupings or terraces, such as Waverly Terrace, Linden Place, and Canby Place.
Resources not specifically itemized in a list within NR nomination form.