City and State: Baltimore, Maryland
Type of district: National Register Historic District
Major Intersection: Charles Street and Cold Spring Lane
The Guilford Historic District of northern Baltimore was a planned suburban development project of the Roland Park Company. Intended for affluent members of society, Guilford was thoughtfully planned with large lots, curvilinear streets and a respect for existing topography and vegetation. As in Roland Park, the Company imposed deed restrictions in Guilford that enabled it to not only preserve public zones, but also to monitor the design of the lots in the district, as well as the houses built upon them. Despite the restrictions, however, the Company did not limit the architectural creativity of the architects working in the area. The result was a community of homes exemplifying a variety of early-20th-century revival styles, consistent with one another in their high-quality design and construction, and in their concern for harmony with the land.
Construction began in 1912. The first houses were duplexes. Single detached homes started to appear on lots throughout the development beginning in 1913. Some were built by the Roland Park Company, while others were built by outside architects hired by lot owners. Those built by the Company were designed in varying styles on lots scattered throughout the district. The intention was for these homes to influence the design of other homes yet to be built. The result was an eclectic architectural mix. Construction slowed during World War I but moved briskly again from 1919 until the early 1930s.