Mount Vernon Cultural Walk
The upper part of the Mount Vernon neighborhood was once part of Belvedere, the country estate of Colonel John Eager Howard, a Revolutionary War hero, U.S. Senator, and Maryland Governor. His magnificent late 18th-century mansion stood on the corner of Chase and Calvert Streets, surrounded by wooded hills and sprawling, well manicured lawns. By 1882, the last of the estate was sold, and Belvidere Terrace, a double row of extraordinary Queen Anne-styled mansions, went up on Calvert Street.
Baltimore is a city of rowhouses, but Mount Vernon is a neighborhood of mansions built in a row. Residents of Mount Vernon hired architects to design and redesign their townhomes. Together, these houses represent some of the best Victorian urban architecture in the country. Amongst their mansions, the elite built clubhouses. The Maryland Club, founded in 1857, was a bastion of Southern sympathy during the Civil War until Union military authorities closed it in 1863. The club's current Romanesque Revival building on the southeast corner of Charles and Eager streets was designed by E. P. Baldwin and Josias Pennington in 1891. The Arundel Club, once located diagonally across the street from the Maryland Club, became one of Baltimore's most important women's clubs of the early 20th century. Here the club organized one of the City's first "Good
Government" committees that advocated and obtained political reform in the city and state. Other clubs abounded in Mount Vernon: the Mount Vernon Club for women, the Baltimore Club, American Institute of Architects Baltimore Chapter, Automobile Club, Baltimore Athletic Club, the Engineering Society and the University Club.
(Inscriptions under the images on the right) (1st image)-In 1841 Samuel Shoemaker became a partner of the Adams Express Company which was founded in 1840. (The balance of the inscription is not legible)
(2nd image) The house of Samuel Shoemaker (981 St. Paul Street)
(3rd image) William Painter invented a new type of bottle stopper in 1885. In 1892 he perfected it into the bottle cap. The bottle cap revolutionized the way beverages were packaged, stored, and shipped. From the beginning Painter began the Crown, Cork & Seal Company which today is one of the world's leading packaging corporations. Painters home was located on 1125 North Calvert Street.
(4th image) William Keyser (1835-1901) was extremely successful in many business ventures by becoming president of the Northeastern Virginia Railroad, second vice-president of the B&O Railroad, and director of Keyser Brothers and Company, the Baltimore Copper Smelting and Rolling Company, Baltimore Electric Refining Company, and others. He was also extremely involved in civic affairs.
He donated land for the building of JHU Homewood Campus, and worked with Charles Bonaparte in the "Good Government" reform movement. William Keyser lived at 819 Park Avenue to 1870.
(5th image) The Baltimore Club located at 916 N. Charles Street, was designed by Watson and Watson architects in 1895 and merged into the Maryland Club in 1933.
(6th image) Interior of the Baltimore Club as it looked in 1925