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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Pamela M. James, 10/1976
James Lawrence Kernan Hospital
Inventory No.: B-3717
Other Name(s): Kernan Hospital and "Radnor Park"
Date Listed: 9/24/1979
Location: 2200 Kernan Drive, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Baltimore County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: Radnor Park: 1860-1867; Hospital: 1926-29; 1935; 1952
Description: Radnor Park and Kernan Hospital are located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Forest Park Avenue and Windsor Mill Road near Wetheredsville in Baltimore City. When it was built between 1860 and 1867, Radnor Park was what is typically thought of as a Victorian mansion. It had a two-story, five-bay, "gingerbread" porch and a bold, bracketed cornice. Projecting center bays on the front and side façades like those on the cornice. A cupola had a cornice identical to that of the house and a rakish roofline, perhaps of Oriental influence. In the first several decades of the 20th century, alterations were carried out which made the house over into a combination of the Greek and Colonial Revival styles popular in that period. The cupola, two-story porch, brackets, and pediment atop the front projecting bay were removed. The house now has a plain box cornice and a two-story portico with six Doric columns and plain soffit which covers only the five bays of the front façade rather than encircling the front and first bay of the side façades as the original did. Significance: The Kernan Hospital complex offers a fine example of the adaptive use of a large 19th century estate which had grown too large for an individual owner to maintain as a summer residence. Although the mansion, Radnor Park, has lost its Victorian "gingerbread" appearance on the exterior, its present appearance is typical of the alterations made to many Victorian buildings in the second and third decades of the 20th century. In addition the earlier, elaborate interior decorations remains in unaltered condition in most of the first floor rooms. The 1920s hospital structures were built in a style that blends well with the mansion and its grounds. Although newer additions to the hospital are not in keeping with the historic nature of the property, they are not visible except from the rear entrance. James Lawrence Kernan was a theater manager and philanthropist of the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras in Baltimore.


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