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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Shelby Weaver Splain, 10/1998
Riviera Apartments
Inventory No.: B-4097
Date Listed: 8/12/1999
Location: 901 Druid Park Lake Drive, Baltimore, Baltimore City
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1915
Architect/Builder: Architect: John Freund
Description: The Riviera Apartments at 901 Druid Park Lake Drive in Baltimore is an early 20th century brick and cast stone apartment building that overlooks the south quadrant of Druid Hill Park and Druid Lake. Situated at the intersection of Druid Park Lake Drive and Linden Avenue on approximately ½ acre, this six-story apartment building is one of the physical and visual anchors of an early 20th century residential neighborhood in northern Baltimore known as Reservoir Hill. It is one of four such high-rise buildings in the neighborhood. Built in 1915, the Riviera was designed using an eclectic mix of architectural styles that broadly fall in the category of Late 19th and Early 20th Century Revival styles. Elements of the Beaux Arts and Renaissance Revival styles are incorporated throughout the building, particularly around the main entrance and cornice and in the main lobby. Except for changes to some apartment floor plans, the Riviera retains much of its original appearance. Decorative interior elements such as the plaster mouldings, parquet flooring, and cove ceilings survive, giving the property a high degree of integrity. The building now stands vacant as developers make plans for its rehabilitation as part of the larger effort to revive the Reservoir Hill neighborhood. Significance: The Riviera Apartments is historically significant for its contributions to the areas of Social History and Architecture. The building is locally significant for its association with the development of Baltimore’s Jewish community and as a representative example of the early 20th century urban apartment building. Built in 1915 in the northern Baltimore neighborhood of Reservoir Hill, the Riviera was designed using an eclectic combination of Revival styles that were equally popular in the 1910s and 20s. When it was constructed, it featured the latest in apartment house design and technology, such as ventilation and mechanical systems. Opulent interior spaces and picturesque views of the adjacent Druid Hill Park made the Riviera one of Baltimore’s prominent and desirable addresses. As the home to some of the city’s wealthier Jewish citizens, the Riviera was one of the initial apartment buildings in the predominantly 19th century residential neighborhood. The Riviera is an illustration of the national trend in housing in the first quarter of the 20th century, as apartment buildings became an integral part of urban culture.

 

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