City and State: Baltimore, Maryland
Type of district: National Register Historic District
Major Intersection: Warren Avenue and Light Street
Federal Hill has always been a place for people to come together. In 1788, 4,000 Baltimoreans gathered on Federal Hill to celebrate Maryland’s ratification of the Federal Constitution. It is from this event that the hill and the community surrounding it take their name.
The evolution of Federal Hill – located near the Baltimore Harbor – closely paralleled Baltimore’s rise to become one of the nation’s most important port cities. For that reason, the Federal Hill Historic District has a history nearly as old as the city itself.
The Federal Hill Historic District consists of a park– the oldest in Baltimore – and the houses surrounding it. The majority of the houses in the historic district date from the mid-to-late-19th century, although a smattering of earlier structures also exists. These were primarily the homes of sailors and shipyard workers who worked at the port. All are of brick construction with extensive use of white marble trim, and most are attached row houses of two or three stories in height, and approximately 15 feet in width. Dormer windows are common on the older houses and provide considerable variation in the roofline of a block. With the exception of the homes that face the park, most are modest houses with little exterior ornamentation.