Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lost Baltimore - Saint Paul Place Houses

(Photo Credit, Baltimore Heritage)

Now that the new Mercy Medical Center tower is almost finished, and scheduled to be opened on December 19th, let's look back at what was lost in order to make room for construction.

Back in 2007 some of the last intact houses from the 1820s sat at the corner of Pleasant St and Saint Paul Place. The were unique in that, with the exception of one, their exterior appearance had not changed much since when they were built. They were also some of the few examples of late Federal townhouses that remained in downtown Baltimore, and the last intact block.  Five three-storey houses sat along St Paul Place, and served as fine examples of the many stately downtown homes that began to be constructed north of the harbor in the 1820s and 1830s. Much larger than their working class and storefront cousins (examples of which flanked these houses on Pleasant Street) many of the houses stretched back to Hargrove Alley with later additions - the original alley gardens long gone.

Their death sentence came as they stood in the way of Mercy Medical Center's expansion of their facilities with a new parking garage and 18 story hospital tower. Even with a hard fight by Baltimore preservationists, the houses met the wrecking ball in 2007.

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