Ednor Gardens Historic District

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Baltimore, MD
United States
Ednor Gardens Historic District

Landscape Information

Ednor Gardens

Developed between 1925 and 1950 and covering some 29 city blocks (and 82 acres), this residential enclave in north Baltimore is noteworthy for being the first large-scale development in the city built for a middle-class market. Approximately bounded by The Alameda, Ellerslie Avenue, and East 36th Avenue, the site of Ednor Gardens was once part of Montebello, the estate of General Samuel Smith, who fought in the Revolutionary War and later held public office. The project was led by developer Edward Gallagher, Sr., and his sons Norman and Edward, Jr., the latter serving as architect throughout the project. The community was largely laid out on a grid of orthogonal, tree-lined streets, although some streets follow the curving paths of Loch Raven Boulevard and The Alameda. It mostly comprises row houses built in both the Tudor Revival and Colonial Revival styles and has been noted for its forward-thinking design: The houses were built from seven to ten feet above grade in order to include terraces, lushly planted and supported by retaining walls, that extended from the front façade to the sidewalk. This elevated grade also accommodated built-in garages in the rear of the houses, another unusual feature at that time. Many of the homes had sun porches, further enhancing the look and feel of “an old English village,” as the architect intended—an effect also achieved by purposely varying the rooflines and the placement of chimneys. The earliest homes were built on a site requiring significant excavation of tan stone and black-colored gneiss, materials that were then used in construction to give the houses a distinct character. The designs progressed from the Tudor Revival style in the 1920s to more modest Depression Era homes, then to the Colonial Revival style, which rose in popularity in the late 1930s. The row houses and their terraced front gardens with now-mature plantings have retained much of their original character. The Ednor Gardens Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004