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Roland Park History:

Then and Now

   

Home

History

Then & Now, Main

Then & Now, Trolley

Then & Now, Roland Ave.

Then & Now, North

Then & Now, East

Then & Now, South

Then & Now, West

Then & Now, Sources

Then & Now, Maps

Then & Now, Aerial

 

 

 

No. 24 Streetcar in the Roland Park area, Summer 1946.

(Movie clip courtesy of Barrie F. Sigler and

digitally remasterd by Houpla, Inc.)

Click image for movie clip.

 

This fascinating clip is part of the J.W. and Helen Tottle family history. The Tottles and their descendants have lived in Roland Park since 1910.

     
 
     
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The purpose of this section of the RolandPark.org web site is to present a create sketch of this well preserved historic neighborhood by presenting a series of side-by-side photographs, old and new. The project was nearly two years in the making and RolandPark.org hopes you enjoy it. It is not a history of Roland Park or its surroundings per se, though a considerable amount of history may be learned from reading the captions under the photos. Nor is it an academic undertaking, so sources are not given in text. However, virtually all the sources are listed on this page, below. I have omitted only one or two sources, such as minor newspaper articles.

Additional future pages will showcase readers' historic-photo submissions. Submissions can be e-mailed to rphistory@rolandpark.org. If you only have hard-copy photos, we can scan them.

Within this site, there are well over 300 pictures old and new, along with dozens of map excerpts — far too much information to fit onto one web page. Accordingly, the site is divided into various sections, by area, as follows:

• The Grand Thoroughfare, Roland Avenue (including Boys' Latin School).

• Roland Park and Environs, North (Lakeside, New North Roland Park, The Orchards and Poplar Hill).

• Roland Park and Environs, East (most of Plat 1, Embla Park, Evergreen, Tuxedo Park and points east).

• Roland Park and Environs, South (Plats 4 and 5, Cold Spring Lane and points south).

• Roland Park and Environs, West (Plat 2, upper Plat 3 and part of Plat 1).

• Roland Park and Environs, Northwest (Plat 6, lower Plat 3, Falls Road, the Baltimore Country Club and the golf course).

There is also a separate page devoted to the trolley service in Roland Park.

At the outset of the project, I was determined to match every historic photo absolutely identically, angle for angle and inch for inch. This soon proved impossible. First, in many cases foliage now obscures what a century ago was an open view. Matching a shot identically often produced nothing but a close-up of a bush, while "cheating" and moving five feet to the right or left produced an excellent shot. Second, even where foliage was not a problem, we quickly found it difficult to reproduce old shots exactly without knowing the original photographer's camera lens. Most modern digital cameras take pictures at a standard 3:2 ratio, which is to say that the width of the photo is half as large again as the height. In contrast, many historic photos have a more square shape. I could have cropped the modern photos to match, sometimes, but there seemed little point, as this would simply have reduced the amount of information imparted by the new pictures.

I have made a good-faith effort to contact all entities that I believe to be copyright holders of the various historic images displayed here. Many of these pictures have come from the Internet, and discerning ownership has not always been easy. If you are demonstrably a copyright holder and I have not secured your permission to use a particular image, please contact me at rphistory@rolandpark.org.

I am indebted to Barrie Sigler for providing the superb streetcar footage and to Houpla, Inc. for converting it to a digital format usable by this site. I am also indebted to Leslie Goldsmith and Tony Pinto for allowing me to scan dozens of photos and old magazine pages from their extensive collections of Roland Park memorabilia, to Mac Kennedy for providing many photos historic and modern, and to Patty Darby for a number of Ridgewood Road pictures from House & Garden magazine. Thanks are due to Kathy Hudson for reviewing draft versions of these pages. Last but certainly not least, I must express my sincere appreciation to Therese O'Malley and Murray West for helping immensely by taking many of the "now" photos, particularly in the "west" section of the site. Additional "then" and "now" photos were also provided by James W. Arnold, John Hammond, Christine Thomas and Anne C. Stuzin, for which thank you.

Enjoy!

— D.P. Munro

Then And Now Editor

RolandPark.org

July 17, 2010

     
 
     

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Sources

 

Books and Other Documents (Alphabetical)

Anonymous. 1913. “A Residence Section Planned on Nature's Lines.” The American City journal 9 (2), August. Internet site (Google Books).

Anonymous. [c. 1965.] Roland Park Revisited. Baltimore, Md.: H.L. Eikenberg, printer.

Frank S. Arnett. 1902. "American Country Clubs." Munsey's Magazine (27) 4, July.

Baltimore Country Club (BCC). 1998. Baltimore Country Club: One Hundred Years. Baltimore, Md.: BCC.

Eden Unger Bowditch. 2001. Growing Up in Baltimore: A Photographic History. Charlston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing.

Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation (CHAP), City of Baltimore. 2008. "Roland Park," from CHAP web page, July 7, 2008, and available at http://www.rolandpark.org/documents/CityRPDescription.pdf.

Co-operative Building Plan Association (CBPA). 1897. How to Build, Furnish and Decorate: Shoppell's Modern Houses. New York, N.Y.: CBPA.

John Engelman. 2004. "The Third Chance Was the Charm." The Live Wire: The Official Newsletter of America's First Downtown Streetcar Museum (i.e., the Baltimore Streetcar Museum).

Wilson Eyre, Jr. 1902. "Two Solutions of the Cottage Problem." The Craftsman (3), November. Internet site (Google Books).

W. Fawcett. 1903. "Roland Park... A Representative American Suburb." House & Garden: A Magazine Devoted to Architecture, Gardens and Decoration 3 (4), April.

Robert M. Fogelson. 2005. Bourgeios Nightmares: Suburbia, 1870-1930. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.

Sally Foster. 2010. Explore Historic Roland Park: A Walking Tour (pamphlet). Baltimore, Md.: Roland Park Community Foundation, April.

Charles J. Gill. 1993. "Poplar Hill/North Roland Park: Change and Continuity." Unpublished manuscript posted on University of Baltimore Langsdale Library Special Collections web site (http://archives.ubalt.edu/lhrc/pdf/PoplarHill.pdf).

Brooke Gunning and Molly O'Donovan. 2000. Baltimore's Halcyon Days. Charlston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing.

Eileen Higham. 2004. Tuscany-Canterbury: A Neighborhood History. Baltimore, Md.: Maryland Historical Society.

Jim Holechek. 2004. Baltimore's Two Cross Keys Villages: One Black, One White. New York, N.Y.: iUniverse, Inc.

Betty Ann Schmick Howard (ed.). 2001. A Place in Our Hearts: Roland Park Country School. Baltimore, Md.: Roland Park Country School.

Richard Hubbard Howland and Eleanor Patterson Spencer. 1953. The Architecture of Baltimore: A Pictorial History. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins Press.

Kathy Hudson. 2005. "Whose House Is It Anyway?" Roland Park News (19), Fall. Internet site (http://www.rolandpark.org/RP_newsletters/RPN_Fall05.pdf).

Department of the Interior, U.S., Bureau of Education. 1916. "Negro Education: A Study of the Private and Higher Schools for Colored People in the United States." Bulletin (39).

Department of Juvenile Services, State of Maryland. 2009. Juvenile Justice in Maryland. Internet site (http://www.djs.state.md.us/history.html).

Jacques Kelly. [n.d.] A Nostalgic Sampler of the Roland Park Shopping Center. Baltimore, Md.: Equitable Bank.

_____. 2009. "JFX Is a Long Stretch of History." Baltimore Sun, February 7. Internet site (http://rolandpark.org/documents/JFXHistoryKelly.pdf).

John W. Leonard (ed.). 1903. Who's Who in America: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of the United States, 1903-1905. Chicago, Ill.: A.N. Marquis & Co.

Karen Lewand. 1989. North Baltimore: From Estate to Development. Baltimore, Md.: Baltimore City Dept. of Planning.

Maryland State Archives, State of Maryland. 2009. A Timeline of Benevolent Giving and Humane Goodness. Internet site (http://www.msa.md.gov/msa/speccol/photos/philanthropy/html/timeline2.htm).

Jean Mellot. 2009. "Roland Park's Olmsted Legacy." Roland Park News (33), Spring 2009. Internet site (http://www.rolandpark.org/foundation/documents/RPN_Spring2009.pdf).

Priscilla L. Miles. 1986. Roland Park: Four Walking Tours and an Informal History. Baltimore, Md.: NPS, Inc.

Roberta M. Moudry. 1990. "Gardens, Houses and People: The Planning of Roland Park, Baltimore." Unpublished master of arts thesis, Cornell University, Ithica, N.Y., January.

Reg Niles. 1981. Adoption Agencies, Orphanages and Maternity Homes: An Historical Directory. In two volumes. Garden City, N.Y.: Phileas Deigh Corp. Internet site (http://www.sacredhealing.com/triadoption/Reg%20Niles%20AAOMH.htm).

Charles Francis Osborne (ed.). 1907. Country Homes and Gardens of Moderate Cost. Philadelphia, Pa.: John C. Winston Co.

Allison Parker-Abromitis. 2010. "Ooh La La! Petit Louis Turns 10!" Roland Park News (38), Summer. Internet site (http://rolandpark.org/foundation/documents/RPN_summer10.pdf).

Adam Paul. 2009. Baltimore Transit Company. Internet site (http://www.btco.net).

Michele Regenold. 2007. "From Waving Arms to LED's: A Brief History of Traffic Signals." University of California, Berkeley Tech Transfer Newsletter, Fall. Internet site (http://www.techtransfer.berkeley.edu/newsletter/07-4/traffic_signals.php).

Roland Park Centennial Committee (RPCC). 1991. Strolling Through Roland Park. Baltimore, Md.: RPCC.

Roland Park Company. Gardens, Houses and People magazine, various editions, 1930s and 1940s.

Roland Park Elementary/Middle School. 2009. Our History. Intenet site (http://rolandparkpublic.org/about-2/our-history).

Roland Park Roads & Maintenance Corp. (RPR&M). 1991. In Celebration of Roland Park: Selections from the Files of the Roland Park Roads and Maintenance Corporation. Baltimore, Md.: RPR&M.

Harry G. Schalck. 1970. "Mini-Revisionism in City Planning History: The Planners of Roland Park." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 29(4), December. Internet site (http://rolandpark.org/documents/Schalck1970_000.pdf).

_____. 1978. "Life on a Gravelly Hill: An Architectural Historian's View of Roland Park, 1891-1914." Unpublished manuscript posted on University of Baltimore Langsdale Library Special Collections web site (http://archives.ubalt.edu/lhrc/pdf/Roland%20Park.pdf).

J. Thomas Scharf. 1874. Chronicles of Baltimore: Being a Complete History of "Baltimore Town" and Baltimore City from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. Baltimore, Md.: Turnbull Brothers.

Lisa Simeone. 2009. "Beautiful Baltimore Houses: Architectural Duo Edward L. Palmer, Jr. and William D. Lamdin Created Some of the Most Noteworthy Houses in Baltimore." Baltimore Style, May/June. Internet site (http://www.baltimorestyle.com/index.php/style/features).

George B. Simmons. 1912. A Book of Pictures in Roland Park, Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore, Md.: George B. Simmons.

University of Baltimore. 2010. Roland Park Civic League (RPCL), a web-site summary of the Langsdale Library's holdings of RPCL historic records, 1903-1978. Internet site (http://archives.ubalt.edu/rpcl/table.htm).

James F. Waesche. 1987. Crowning the Gravelly Hill: A History of the Roland Park—Guilford—Homeland District. Baltimore, Md.: Maclay & Associates.

William N. White (ed.). 2001. The Centennial Legacy of the Roland Park Presbyterian Church, 1901-2001. Baltimore, Md.: Roland Park Presbyterian Church. Internet site (http://www.rolandparkchurch.org/PDF_Files/CentennialBooklet.pdf).

Otis E. Williams. 1907. "The Homebuilders' Suburb of New Baltimore: Roland Park." Indoors and Out journal (3, 4), March, April. Internet site (Google Books).

Wyndhurst Improvement Association. 2007. WIA News. Summer, June 15.

 

Atlases, Maps and Aerial Photographs (Chronological)

G.M. Hopkins. 1876. City Atlas of Baltimore, Maryland and Environs: From Official Records, Private Plans and Actual Surveys, Based upon Plans Deposited in the Department of Surveys. Philadelphia, Pa.: G.M. Hopkins. (Courtesy of Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents of Maryland, http://mdhistory.net/msaref07/html/index.html, downloaded December 2009.)

G.M. Hopkins. 1877. Atlas of Baltimore County, Maryland. Philadelphia, Pa.: G.M. Hopkins. (Editor's collection.)

George W. and Walter S. Bromley. 1898. Atlas of Baltimore County, Maryland: From Actual Surveys and Official Plans. Philadelphia, Pa.: G.W. Bromley & Co. (Courtesy of Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents of Maryland, http://mdhistory.net/msaref07/html/index.html, downloaded July 2009.)

Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects. 1900 and 1901. Two planting plans for the entrance to Ridgewood Road. Roland Park community associations' files.

George W. and Walter S. Bromley. 1906. Atlas of the City of Baltimore, Maryland: From Actual Surveys and Official Plans. Philadelphia, Pa.: G.W. Bromley & Co. (Courtesy of Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents of Maryland, http://mdhistory.net/msaref07/html/index.html, downloaded July 2009.)

Roland Park Company (RPC). 1911. Plat No. 5 of Roland Park, Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Maryland. Baltimore, Md.: RPC. (Courtesy of Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents of Maryland, http://mdhistory.net/msaref07/html/index.html, downloaded July 2009.)

_____. [c. 1912]. Plat of Guilford, Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Maryland in the Roland Park District. Baltimore, Md.: RPC. (Courtesy of Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents of Maryland, http://mdhistory.net/msaref07/html/index.html, downloaded July 2009.)

George W. and Walter S. Bromley. 1914. Atlas of the City of Baltimore, Maryland: From Actual Surveys and Official Plans. Philadelphia, Pa.: G.W. Bromley & Co. (Courtesy of Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents of Maryland, http://mdhistory.net/msaref07/html/index.html, downloaded July 2009.)

_____. 1915. Atlas of the City of Baltimore, Maryland: From Actual Surveys and Official Plans. Philadelphia, Pa.: G.W. Bromley & Co. (Courtesy of Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents of Maryland, http://mdhistory.net/msaref07/html/index.html, downloaded July 2009.)

Baltimore, City of. 1923. Preliminary Maps, Topographical Survey, Baltimore City: May 1, 1922. Baltimore, Md.: Baltimore City Goverment. (Courtesy of JScholarship, https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu.)

Edward Bennet Matthews. 1935. Map of Baltimore City Showing the Amount of Overburden Covering the Underlying Rocks. Baltimore, Md.: Bureau of Plans and Surveys [Maryland Geological Survey]. (Editor's collection.)

U.S. Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS). 1938. "1937-1938 Baltimore City & Baltimore County: Aerial Photography Flown in November and December of 1937 and in April and May of 1938." Washington, D.C.: ASCS. (Courtesy of JScholarship, https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu.)

Alexander Gross. [c. 1950]. The Premier Street Map of Baltimore. New York, N.Y.: Geographia Map Co. (Editor's collection.)

U.S. Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS). 1953. "1952-1953 Baltimore City & Baltimore County: Aerial Photography Flown in 1952 and 1953." Washington, D.C.: ASCS. (Courtesy of JScholarship, https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu.)

Shell Oil. [c. 1960]. Shell Map of Metropolitan Baltimore. Chicago, Ill.: H.M. Goushá. (Editor's collection.)

Zoning Commission, City of Baltimore. 1962. Zoning District Plan for Rezoning of Baltimore City: Preliminary Recommendations of the Zoning Commission, September 1962. Baltimore, Md.: Baltimore City Zoning Commission. (Courtesy of JScholarship, https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu.)

Simonds & Simonds, Landscape Architects/Planners. 1964. Existing Parks and Recreation Facilities, the City of Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore, Md.: Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of Planning. (Courtesy of JScholarship, https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu.)

Roland Park Roads & Maintenance Corp. (RPR&M). 1991. Three plans for the landscaping of Centennial Park. Roland Park community associations' files.

     
 
     
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Maps

A number of maps spanning almost a century of greater Roland Park history are presented below. Clink the thumbnails for larger PDF images. These are very large files, so dial-up users are warned. For viewers' convenience, JPEG versions may also be accessed. These are quicker to download but are of lower resolution. Throughout the pages that follow, annotated map details are in various places presented to illustrate a photo location.

     
   

 

 

Hopkins 1876

JPEG here

Hopkins 1876

JPEG here

Hopkins 1877

JPEG here

Bromley 1898

JPEG here

Bromley 1898

JPEG here

 

These two fascinating plans (right and left), unearthed in the Roland Park associations' office, show two of the original schematics for the entrance to Ridgewood Road from Roland Avenue. Ridgewood Road was initially envisioned as the gateway to a new Roland Park Co. development wholly separate from Roland Park (in 1900 comprised solely of Plat 1).

 

Bromley 1898

JPEG here

Olmsted Brothers 1900

JPEG here

 

Olmsted Brothers 1901

JPEG here

Bromley 1906

JPEG here

 

 

 

 

 

The three superbly detailed maps to the left were produced in 1911 and 1912 by the Roland Park Co. They show the then brand new developments of Roland Park Plat 5 (1911) and Guilford, north and south (1912).

 

Roland Park Co. 1911

JPEG here

 

Roland Park Co. 1912

JPEG here

 

Roland Park Co. 1912

JPEG here

     

Bromley 1914

JPEG here

Bromley 1915 (B&W)

JPEG here

Bromley 1915

JPEG here

Bromley 1915

JPEG here

Bromley 1915

JPEG here

Bromley 1915

JPEG here

The four maps to the right were published in 1923 by Baltimore City, the result of a 1922 topographical survey. The purpose of the survey was to chart precisely every acre of land annexed by the city in 1918. The level of detail in these four maps is extraordinary.

   

Baltimore City 1922

JPEG here

 

Baltimore City 1922

JPEG here

 

Baltimore City 1922

JPEG here

 

Baltimore City 1922

JPEG here

 
 

Matthews 1935

JPEG here

 

Gross 1950

JPEG here

 

Shell 1960

JPEG here

 

Zoning Commission 1962

JPEG here

 

Simonds & Simonds 1964

JPEG here

   

 
 
   

RPR&M 1991

JPEG here

RPR&M 1991

JPEG here

RPR&M 1991

JPEG here

 

Click on thumbnails to enlarge. Warning: large PDF files. Dial-up users, use JPEGs instead.

     
 
     
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Aerial Photos

Below are reproduced two series of aerial photos taken by the U.S. Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS) in 1938 and 1953. In these years, the ASCS took dozens of aerial photos of the entire greater Baltimore area, of which we here reproduce those showing the general Roland Park area. There are seven for each of the two years, 1938 and 1953, and they are numbered, clockwise, from 1 to 7, from northeast around to northwest.

     
   

1. Northeast, 1938
2. East, 1938
3. Southeast, 1938
4. South, 1938
5. Southwest, 1938
6. West, 1938
7. Northwest, 1938
1. Northeast, 1953
2. East, 1953
3. Southeast, 1953
4. South, 1953
5. Southwest, 1953
6. West, 1953
7. Northwest, 1953

 

Click on thumbnails to enlarge. Warning: very large files. Not recommended for dial-up users.