Preservation and Development

















Schematics for the astonishing 1974 plan to build a modern strip mall in place of the Tudor-style shopping center at 4800 Roland Avenue. (Click to enlarge.)


Photo: Period postcard, unknown photographer.


This page serves as a portal for all Roland Park area preservation or development stories or campaigns. And index of current and archived campaigns may be found at the foot of this page. (Take me there now.)

Roland Park is a Baltimore success story. In the 120-odd years since the Roland Park Company first began amassing land for the neighborhood, the area has never been anything less than one of the city's most desirable neighborhoods.

There is a price to pay for this, however. Where neighborhoods are successful, institutions wish to follow. Though large institutions are generally barred from the interior areas of communities such as Roland Park, there nevertheless frequently occurs a process of "edge chipping." Institutions establish themselves around the peripheries of neighborhoods and then, because the neighborhood is a success, so is the institution. The institution then finds it needs to expand, an expansion that may well take it further into the heart of the neighborhood or into cherished green spaces.

Think it can't happen here? Think the development controversies of the late 2000s were anomalous? Think again. The preservation of Roland Park's unique character has been a struggle for decades.

As early as 1912, speeding vehicles were a concern in the Park. In April of that year, the Roads & Maintenance Corp. was forced to put up six signs restricting the maximum speed throughout Roland Park to 18 miles an hour (Pinto 1990:4).

In 1948, Roland Park narrowly averted complete disaster by successfully lobbying to derail a state and city plan to turn Roland Avenue and University Parkway into a four-line highway extending York Road to downtown. The highway would have come south from Lutherville down Charles Street, jogged west on Lake Avenue and then south down Roland Avenue. At University Parkway, it would have turned east again, reconnecting with Charles Street at the northeast corner of Hopkins Homewood campus (Pinto 1990:14).

Roland Park without its signature Tudor-style shopping center on the 4800 block of Roland Avenue is scarcely conceivable today. Yet, in 1974 it was seriously proposed to demolish the building and replace it with a modern, one-story strip mall (a second story was later added to the plans). The schematics for this architectural travesty are shown at left (both the one- and two-story versions). Click the thumbnail to enlarge (Pinto 1990:23).



Source: Anthony Pinto (ed.). 1990. In Celebration of Roland Park, 1891-1991: Selections from the Files of the Roland Park Roads and Maintenance Corporation. Baltimore, Md.: Roland Park Roads and Maintenance Corporation.



D.P. Munro
Web-site Editor

September 7, 2009

The opinions expressed in the above writing and throughout this web page are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or stated policy positions of the Roland Park civic organizations.



Click links at right to be to taken to web pages.


Preservation & Development, Current Issues



Gilman School, Left-turn Lane to

   • Media Hits

Master Plan, Roland Park Area, 2009-2010

   • Charrette 1 Report

   • Charrette 2 Report

   • Media Hits

   • Metablog Page

Roland Park Place, Parking Lot Expansion

   • Media Hits

Urban Life Reading Room, Library of (web page)

Water Tower, Roland, Preservation of

   • Media Hits



Preservation & Development, Archived Matter



BCC/Keswick Sale

   • BCC/Keswick E-petition

   • BCC/Keswick Plans

   • BCC/Keswick Roundtables

   • Committee Bulletins

   • Letters

   • Media Hits
   • Media Links
   • Meeting, Special, July 1
   • Meeting, Fourth of July Parade, July 4
   • Meeting, Special, July 15

   • Meeting, Special, October 14

   Movie, "Roland Park: The Keswick Issue"

   • Primary Sources

   • Reading Room

   • Tennis Clubhouse, BCC Demolition of

Marianist/Harvey Sale (4301 Roland Avenue)

   • Media Hits

Wyndhurst Station, Café and Coffee Shop at

   • Media Hits