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Then and Now:

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Then & Now, Roland Ave.

Then & Now, North

Then & Now, East

Then & Now, South

Then & Now, West

 

 

Every area of greater Roland Park has some feature it is instantly associated with. To the south, it is the Roland Water Tower. To the west, it is the Tudor-style shopping center. North of Northern Parkway, there is Lakeside with its mass of train and trolley history. And to the east, the icon is undoubtedly the Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, even though it is not strictly speaking within the boundaries of Roland Park proper. Though this photo is undated, it is a very early one, taken before even the addition of the first west wing, which was in place by 1929 (see set 23, below). This photo was probably taken soon after the school's 1924 opening.

(Photo: unknown photographer; Anthony F. Pinto III collection.) Click photos for larger images.

     
     
   

Hawthorn Road

     

Set 1

 

Mapped Scene:

From this 1898 map we can see that the general layout is already in place, though the streets still have different names. By 1911, the time of Simmons' book, the streets will have been renamed with the names they bear to this day. The red circle marks the photographer's position.

Map: Bromley, 1898.

 

 

Scene: Hawthorn Road, looking south from Oakdale Road in Plat 1. Plat 1 is Roland Park's earliest and most conservative plat, design-wise. It was laid out by the German-born George E. Kessler, who was engaged by the Roland Park Co. in its earliest days. Kessler only worked for the company through December 1891 and his efforts were later overshadowed by the Olmsted brothers' firm, which from November 1897 onward worked with the company to design plats 2 through 6 and other, later company developments. Kessler's importance should not be overlooked, however: his successes in Plat 1 were what allowed the company to ascend to greater heights in later years.

Orig. caption: "Avenue of poplars — Hawthorn Road."

Date: June 1911.

Photographer: George B. Simmons.

Source: A Book of Pictures in Roland Park.

 

 

Commentary: This scene has changed remarkably little in a century. The trees do not extend all the way to the corner on the right as they did in 1911 but, apart from that, the vista is instantly recognizable.

Date: May 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         
Set 2
 

 

Scene: Looking west from the intersection of Oakdale and Hawthorn roads (Oakdale to right; Hawthorn to left). Note the unpaved road. Number 312 Oakdale, which today sits at the "v" of the intersection, is obscured by foliage in this photo. However, it is there, behind the trees. City tax records give 312 Oakdale's construction date as 1900, and even this is late, for the house appears on the 1898 Bromley map thumbnailed with set 1. Therefore it must have been present when this early 20th century shot was taken.

Orig. caption: "Oakdale and Hawthorn Roads, Roland Park."

Date: Unknown but about 1910. The card has no publication date, but the postmark is dated April 25, 1911.

Photographer: Hugh R. Gwynn.

Source: Undated postcard; webmaster's collection.

 

 

Commentary: The road is now of course paved, but the rest of the scene is reassuringly unchanged. The hydrant is still in the same place, though the unit itself is different. (As early as 1892, the presence of hydrants was touted as a safety feature by Roland Park boosters.) The substantial first tree on the left in the modern picture above may possibly be the thin third tree on the older photo at left, the two nearer trees having obviously been removed.

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         
 
Wilmslow and Keswick Roads
       

Set 3

 

Mapped Scene:

The 1915 Bromley map shows the 4900 block of Wilmslow as being completely developed by 1915.

Map: Bromley, 1915.

 

 

Scene: Looking north from the intersection of Park Lane and Wilmslow Road. The foreground house is 4900 Wilmslow. The Maryland & Pennsylvania rail line ran parallel to these houses, to the photographer's right (out of the picture).

Orig. caption: "Group of semi-detached cottages — Wilmslow Avenue."

Date: June 1911.

Photographer: George B. Simmons.

Source: A Book of Pictures in Roland Park.

 

 

Commentary: Though it is hard to discern from this photo because of the foliage, this charming Plat 1 block is almost identical to what it looked like in 1911. The only substantial difference is that the previously ubiquitous cedar-shingle roofs have given way to asphalt shingles (a material prohibited in Roland Park's sister developments, Guilford and Homeland). This block was built in 1909. While a few other, individual houses were built in Plat 1 after this date, this was the last block to be developed en masse in Plat 1. The houses were built by the Roland Park Co. itself.

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
         
         
Set 4

 

Catalog Page:

The full Shoppell's catalog page from which the picture at right is taken is reproduced above. Click thumbnail to enlarge.

Source: Shoppell's How to Build, Furnish and Decorate.

 

 

Scene: In Plat 1, the Roland Park Co.'s earliest development, "catalog houses" are quite common. The company favored Queen Anne and Shingle style houses, a conservative but safe choice. The plans could be purchased ready-made from Robert W. Shoppell's Co-operative Building Plan Association in New York City, thus saving the buyer architect's fees. (Catalog houses are not found in the later Roland Park plats.) The particular design shown above, no. 1238 from Shoppell's 1897 catalog, is the single most common house in Plat 1.

Orig. caption: "Residence, Design No. 1238."

Date: 1897.

Photographer: N/a.

Source: How to Build, Furnish and Decorate.

 

 

Commentary: The Roland Park catalog houses are generally not absolutely true to pattern, as buyers could and did customize them. This example of model no. 1238 differs slightly from the pattern, but does so less than any of the other 1238s I have seen (including my own). This one is at the northwest corner of Upland and Keswick roads. Its porch roof is somewhat simplified vis-à-vis the pattern and the front gable end is not as ornate. Apart from these minor deviations is seems basically the same. Many of the other 1238s in Plat 1 have wraparound porches (not contemplated by the pattern) and have purely shingled gable ends, not decorated at all.

Date: March 2010.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

         
 
         
 
Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad
       

Set 5

 

Mapped Scene:

The railroad is shown clearly on the 1935 Matthews map, as are the sidings at the Evergreen coal station, for which see photo set 6.

Map: Matthews, 1935.

 

 

Scene: Cold Spring Lane, looking east from the bridge over Stony Run. Formerly the Baltimore & Lehigh Railway (and originally the Baltimore & Delta Railway), the "Ma & Pa" in 1901 became the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad as the result of a merger. It operated between York and Baltimore, the southern terminus being a station on North Avenue (near the present-day Streetcar Museum on Falls Road). The southern Baltimore/Whiteford segment of the line was abandoned on June 11, 1958 (the northern section continued in operation until November 1, 1980).

Orig. caption: "Ma & Pa railroad crossing at Cold Spring Lane, looking east (note overhead flasher signal)."

Date: January 3, 1939.

Photographer: Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Co.

Source: Baltimore County Public Library.

 

 

Commentary: The Ma & Pa tracks are gone — though the pedestrian crossing shows about where they were — and a regular stop light has replaced the flashing grade-crossing light. The Loyola College dormitories now occupy what in the older photo to the left is a snow-covered hill in the background beyond the trees.

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         

Set 6

 

Aerial Scene:

This rather overexposed 1938 ACSC photo shows with tolerable clarity the coal depot shed shown in the photo at right and the rail trestle to the immediate east of it.

Map: ACSC, 1938.

 

 

Scene: Looking southwest, toward Cold Spring Lane, from the Evergreen coal depot.

Orig. caption: "Evergreen view looking southwest showing the coal office which was located on West Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore City. The track in the foreground is part of the coal trestle which was elevated at its end at Cold Spring Lane."

Date: February 1940.

Photographer: Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Co.

Source: Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Historical Society.

 

 

Commentary: Located in the Keswick neighborhood, the house in the background is immediately recognizable, but little else remains from the 1940 photo on the left. The coal station and its associated tracks and sidings have long since been removed. In place of the modest coal office shown at left, there now stands 200 W. Cold Spring Lane. Built in 1966, this building housed a Bank of America branch in the 1990s. By the late 2000s, it was partly vacant and had no anchor tenant.

Date: May 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         

Set 7

 

Scene Relics:

These two relics of the Ma & Pa era were found just north of the scene shown at right. The first is a length of track found and excavated by a longtime Evergreen resident when Stony Run was being engineered in 2006. The second is part of a trackside reflector post. It was found by the editor at the location of set 9 in November 2009.

 

Photos: Munro, Nov. 2009.

 

 

Scene: Looking south from a point on the Ma & Pa tracks about 110 yards north of Cold Spring Lane. The date of this photo is unknown but is probably the late 1950s, as the coal depot appears to be abandoned. This section of the Ma & Pa line wound up operations in June 1958. The photo was taken by a lifelong Evergreen resident. The garage visible in the distance, on the other side of Cold Spring Lane, still exists today.

Orig. caption: None.

Date: Unknown but probably late 1950s.

Photographer: John H. Pleier.

Source: J. McDonald Kennedy collection.

 

 

Commentary: This photo was taken from a spot about 10 yards west and 20 yards south of where the original photographer was, the latter's actual position currently being a very overgrown part of the Stony Run footpath, which the old Ma & Pa right-of-way has become. (Because utility poles rarely change position, even if replaced, the original photographer's place can be gauged with great accuracy by pacing backward from the current utility poles). The garage prominent in the distance in the old photo is plainly visible here, too. On the right here is the back of the former Bank of America building.

Date: 2007.

Photographer: J. McDonald Kennedy.

         
 
         
Set 8

 

Aerial Scene:

This detail is from the same aerial photo as that shown at set 6. The shed that is the subject of the historic photo at right is at the top middle of this aerial view and the building on the left of the vintage shot is also shown.

Map: ACSC, 1938.

 

 

 

Scene: This photo was taken from the area immediately north of what is now the Bolton Street Synagogue, an area that was once the coal yard behind the depot shed shown two sets above (set 6). The grassy swath beyond the wood stacks is what is these days known as the Evergreen meadow, a popular recreation area. In the distance, at the very left of the picture, what appears to be a single house is in fact two, 200 and 207 Cable Street (see a modern close up here).

Orig. caption: "The Maryland & Pennsylvania railroad (also known as the 'Ma & Pa' railroad) coal and oil dock at Evergreen, Maryland. The site was just north of Cold Spring Lane in Baltimore City. The oil tank is in the center of the picture (says 'Operators Heat'), while the coal car is just below it to the right. The wooden structure is a garage. The view looks north."

Date: January 1940.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Baltimore County Public Library.

 

 

Commentary: The photo to the left is slightly miscaptioned, as the view is more northeast than north. The tracks visible on the right in the vintage photo ran just beyond the distant trees in the modern photo. Nowadays, the old right-of-way is a much loved footpath. The modern photographer's position is just above the playground (not visible) behind the Bolton Street Synagogue. Though largely screened by trees, 207 Cable Street can just be seen in this shot (as it can in the historic picture), just to the right of the light-green-leafed sapling above the flower pot.

Date: August 2010.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         

Set 9

 

Mapped Scene:

The precise location of the old photograph is difficult to pin down, but it must have been between Cable Street and Kendall Road, the only stretch where the stream got — and to this day gets — this close to the railbed south of Wyndhurst.

Map: Matthews, 1935.

 

 

Scene: The Ma & Pa ceased running in Baltimore in June 1958, and a half-century of post-railroad erosion followed by extensive streambed engineering in 2006 have left this scene changed but still recognizable. The setting is Stony Run, just north of its confluence with the nameless stream that begins at the Homeland ponds. The photo is undated but must be after 1927, the year the Ma & Pa bought its two self-propelled EMC Gas-Electric "doodlebug" cars, nos. 61 and 62 (the latter shown here).

Orig. caption: "Evergreen, MD."

Date: Unknown but after 1927.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: MDRails.com.

 

 

Commentary: Stony Run stream was extensively engineered in 2006, so one cannot use the old photo's streambed contours to locate the same spot today. However, this location, a little south of the foot of Cable Street seems correct. The tracks used to run along the footpath visible on the far right of this modern shot.

Date: November 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         

Set 10

 

 

Mapped Scene:

The red circle shows the photographer's position. Blythewood Lake is just to the south of his position.Cold Spring and Wyndhurst are named and located as at present. Maryland Avenue is now Roland Avenue. It is probable that the fence shown in the old photo is that separating the Martein and Edmonson properties, which are shown on the map. This dividing line ran parallel to, and perhaps 20 yards north of, present-day Oakdale Road.

Map: Hopkins, 1876.

 

 

Corrected Scene: This is a fascinating photo. A number of copies of it exist, but it is invariably shown reversed (as below). All copies of the photo give the location as Blythewood Lake but, in the standard reversed form of the photo, this puts the lake in the wrong place. This initially made me think that perhaps all the photo captions were wrong. However, this particular version of the photo (Roland Park resident Tony Pinto's), in addition to being the best quality, had pasted to the back of it a vital note (below and right). Though the Pinto photo was reversed in the usual manner, the note stated this to be so and also gave the shot's position as being 3,100 feet north of Cold Spring Lane. This information allowed me both to place the scene precisely and also to flip the photo electronically to give the correct view, that shown above. The train is steaming northward and it has just passed Blythewood Lake. Its position is just north of the now eastern terminus of Oakdale Road. The property-dividing fence on the right of the photo ran about 20 yards north of, and more or less parallel with, what is now Oakdale Road (which did not exist when this shot was taken).

Orig. caption: "Train @ Blythewood Lake" (handwritten on back of print).

Date: Unknown but probably late 1890s.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Anthony F. Pinto III collection.

 

 

Commentary: The modern scene bears little resemblance to the earlier one though, upon reflection, the reader will notice that the topography is correct and that the background tree line is the same shape in both pictures. The photographer here is in the front yard of one of the houses on the 4700 block of East Lane, looking south by southeast. The white house on the right fronts onto Oakdale Road. Its back deck, visible here, is at approximately the same place as the fence in front of the wooded area shown in the old photo. The Ma & Pa right-of-way cannot be seen in the modern photo because of foliage. This shot prominently shows a driveway running up and right from the bottom left corner of the photo. The right-of-way, which is still there, is parallel to this driveway, on the other side of the bushes and bamboo. As for Blythewood Lake, it was artificial, the result of a dam a little way downstream. Along with other, similar ponds on Stony Run, it appeared on maps as late as the 1930s. It does not appear on either the 1950 Gross map nor the 1952 U.S. Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service aerial photos of Roland Park.

Date: March 2010.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       

Locomotive number,

southbound standard:

Locomotive number,

northbound corrected:

Unlike the most versions of this photo, the Pinto version was clear enough to make out the locomotive number on the front of the boiler. In the standard, southbound version of the shot, the "6" is reversed. In the corrected, northbound photo, it appears the right way around.

 

 

Standard Scene: This is the photo as usually presented, which problematically puts the lake north of the train, instead of south of it (the latter being the only placement that makes sense). This is the Baltimore County Public Library version of the shot, which gives the date as "Before World War I" and the caption as "A Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad steam locomotive at Blythewood Lake, Roland Park."

Source: Baltimore County Public Library.

Text of Note: The note on the back of the Pinto copy of the Blythewood Lake photo (right) reads as follows:

"7/30

"Chris,

"The picture is printed mirror imaged left to right. The locomotive is Maryland Central/Baltimore and Lehigh #6 built by Pittsburgh in 1883. Probably this is the late 1890's on the B&L. The baggage/mail car appears to be one of B&L #30, 31, 32 built in 1895.

"Now comes the speculative part. The train is northbound right at M&P milepost 3. At this point a northbound train would be coming off a 450' tangent into a 5º curve to the right. Stony Run was dammed at this point making a pond on the east side of the track. It seems to fit the picture. This locomotive would be 3100' north of Cold Spring Lane.

"[Illegible signature]"

 

 

Explanatory Note: This is the note that was stuck to the back of the Pinto version of the Blythewood Lake photo. Most usefully, it notes the reversal of the image and gives a likely date and a precise location. If anyone knows the identity of either the recipient or the sender, please contact the editor at rpcommunication@rolandpark.org.

Date: Unknown ("7/30").

Source: Anthony F. Pinto III collection.

       
         

Set 11

 

 

Mapped Scene:

Unfortunately, Stony Run — a useful landmark — is not shown on this c. 1950 map, dating from about the same period as the photo. However, the photographer is believed to have been standing on the steep, and still extant, embankment on the east side of the tracks, between the tracks and the stream.

Map: Gross, 1950.

 

 

Scene: The section of line described in the original caption, below, is about three fifths of a mile long. Wyndhurst Avenue was then where it is today, while Belvedere Avenue was a residential road where today the Northern Parkway thoroughfare runs. This particular spot is almost certainly slightly to the north of the foot of St. John's Road in Tuxedo Park.

Orig. caption: "Ma and Pa train between Wyndhurst and Belvedere."

Date: Unknown, but probably the early 1950s. (The engine seems to be the same one as appears in two 1950s-dated shots in the "north" section of this site.)

Photographer: Charles T. Mahan?

Source: Roland Park Revisited.

 

 

Commentary: Though half a century and much neglect have taken their toll on the railroad embankment, the fundamentals are still there. This modern photo was taken from a spot about 20 yards north of the foot of St. John's Road, across the Stony Run stream from the Roland Park swimming pool.

Date: November 2008.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         
 
Wyndhurst Avenue and Points East
       

Set 12

 

Mapped Scene:

Notre Dame Station is clearly marked on this 1898 map. Notice that in those days Stony Run stream ran to the east of the station building, not to its west as it does now.

Map: Bromley, 1898.

 

 

Scene: Looking west along Wyndhurst Avenue from a point about half way between Stony Run and Charles Street. Dating this photo is a matter of detective work. A crucial clue is that, as the caption below mentions, the shot appears to predate the construction of the Notre Dame Ma & Pa station (now converted to retail and known as Wyndhurst Station). Tax records give the date of the station building as 1920, but this is far too late a date. The building itself says 1901 on a (new) sign. Railway enthusiast Allen Brougham gives 1906. Perhaps most importantly, the station building is clearly marked on the 1898 Bromley map (left). The beginnings of Tuxedo park are also evident in the background of this photo. Tuxedo was platted in 1892 and construction started shortly thereafter. However, no construction has here taken place at Embla Park (in the foreground), platted in 1893. Suffice it here to say that this photo was probably taken in about 1895.

Orig. caption: "What a difference a century makes! This view of Wyndhurst Avenue faces west. The Wyndhurst Station shopping center is now located at the bottom of the hill. It was formerly a train station (hence its name), which hasn't even been constructed when this shot was taken!"

Date: Unknown but probably about 1895.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Baltimore's Halcyon Days.

 

 

Commentary: While the photo at left almost certainly does predate the Notre Dame (Wyndhurst) station, this cannot be stated with absolute certainty simply by looking at the shot. It should be noted that the building is not visible in this 2009 photo either. Set back from the road at the bottom of the hill, it is here hidden by foliage, as it could just possibly be similarly hidden in the old photo too. The Embla Park development absent in the old photo now completely blocks the former view across the valley to Tuxedo Park. On the map detail, the photographer's position is marked by a red circle.

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         

Set 13

Mapped Scene:

The 1915 Bromley map makes clear that Embla Park was largely developed by this time. Note the Perine estate that will once day become Friends and Cathedral.

Map: Bromley, 1915.

 

 

Scene: Looking east along Wyndhurst Avenue from a point about half way between Stony Run and Charles Street. The photo was taken by the same photographer and at the same time as the previous photo (set 12). Note the lack of Embla Park development, conclusively placing this photo well before 1915 (see map at left). The house visible toward the left and presumably fronting onto Charles Street Avenue does not show up on either of the Bromley maps, 1898 or 1915.

Orig. caption: "What once looked like a quiet country road is now busy Wyndhurst Avenue. This eastern view looks toward what is now Charles Street."

Date: Unknown but probably about 1895.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Baltimore's Halcyon Days.

 

 

Commentary: The embankment on the right of the scene has changed little in a century and the general contours of the land are the same.

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         

Set 14

 

 

Scene: Despite what the original caption of this photo says, this shot was not taken in front of Schneider's. The ground is far too level to be Wyndhurst Avenue and the house in the background does not correspond to the house opposite Schneider's today. According to Schneider's current owner, Jeff Pratt (Andrew Schneider's grandson), the man mounting the cart is an employee of Schneider's, not Schneider himself, and the shot was probably taken somewhere else in the Roland Park area during the employee's delivery run.

Orig. caption: "Grocery cart in front of Schneider's store — 1913. Presently Schneider's Hardware store."

Date: 1913.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Roland Park Revisited.

 

 

Commentary: This modern photo shows Schneider's current (2010) owner, Jeff Pratt, in front of the premises today. Schneider's has always been in this Tuxedo Park building, though initially it was on the first floor (not the walk-out basement, as now) and it was a grocer's shop (not a hardware store).

Date: March 2010.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

         
 
         

Set 15

 

Mapped Scene:

The 1915 Bromley map gives an excellent idea of the pre-development Homeland tract, the eastern part of the Perine estate. Note that the much-loved Homeland ponds predate the development of the suburb. (The stream they feed flows into Stony Run at Evergreen.)

Map: Bromley, 1915.

 

 

Scene: Looking north up Charles Street — then "Charles Street Avenue" — from a point a few paces north of the present-day Friends School main entrance.

Orig. caption: "A sign erected on the east side of Charles Street Avenue in 1923 advertised 'Land for Sale.' After the death of Elias Glenn Perine in 1922, his seven children, represented by brother Washington, sold Homeland to the Roland Park Company, which repeated its success developing the estate into a gracious new neighborhood in Baltimore City. Among the variety of architectural styles, are Colonial, Tudor, and French Chateau houses. The streets in Homeland are named for small villages in the English countryside."

Date: 1923.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Baltimore's Halcyon Days.

 

 

Commentary: The contours of the land have changed little since 1923. The "For Sale" sign prominent in the old photo at left is just about exactly where present-day Enfield Road intersects with Charles.

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         
Set 16

 

Period Ad:

Then, as now, private schools were a popular option for the well-to-do residents of the Roland Park Co.'s developments. This advertisement for the Friends School appeared in the May 1941 edition of Gardens, Houses and People, the company's magazine.

Photo: Roland Park Co., Gardens, Houses and People; Anthony F. Pinto III collection.

 

 

Scene: Looking west from what is now the front parking lot of the Friends School at the instantly recognizable lower school, with its semi-circular multi-purpose room.

Orig. caption: "Photo shows the Friends School on North Charles Street in Baltimore while under construction. The Harry S. Campbell Co. of Towson supplied the sand for the concrete used in the construction."

Date: 1920s.

Photographer: Nottingham Properties.

Source: Baltimore County Public Library.

 

 

Commentary: This building has changed very little since the older photo was taken. Skylights have been added, as has an addition to the north (partly visible on the right). The castle-style embrasures and merlons along the roof line have for some reason been leveled. Apart from these minor matters, the building looks just about exactly the same.

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         
 
Evergreen
       

Set 17

 

Mapped Scene:

Built in 1896, the school is plain as day on the 1898 Bromley map of Plat 1 and Evergreen. Here, Prospect Avenue is today Schenley Road and, to the west, Orbison Avenue is now Hawthorn Road.

Map: Bromley, 1898.

 

 

 

Scene: The photographer is looking east at a group of children standing on the front steps of what subsequently was called the Schenley Road School. (At the time this photo was taken, Schenley Road was called Prospect Avenue.) According to the Evergreen community web site, "The original structure was built in 1896 with the front portion added on in 1905. The school provided elementary education for the community children. The school house is presently a unique and beautiful family home."

Orig. caption: "Schenley Road School — about 1910."

Date: About 1910.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Roland Park Revisited.

 

 

Commentary: There is little to add to the assessment of the Evergreen webmaster, that the building now is indeed a "a unique and beautiful family home."

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         

Set 18

 

Mapped Scene:

Built in 1894, the Evergreen Methodist Protestant church appears on the 1898 Bromley map. At the time of the map's production, Keswick Road was still called Notre Dame Avenue.

Map: Bromley, 1898.

 

 

Scene: This is a fascinating photo. A hard copy of the photo was deposited at the front door of the Evergreen community webmaster's house by an anonymous wellwisher in late July 2010. No name was given and no note accompanied the picture. Judging by the men's clothes, the shot was probably taken in the 1920s. The photographer is standing in the middle of Keswick Road looking west at the façade of the former Evergreen Methodist Protestant church at 4622 Keswick. The men are presumably congregants of the church, though it is anyone's guess as to why no women are present. The man in the very back row, just to the right of the center of the door and holding a large, open book, is probably the minister (and the book probably a bible). Interestingly, the man on the far left of the third row appears to be Asian.

Orig. caption: None.

Date: Unknown but probably 1920s.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Unknown.

 

 

Commentary: The Evergreen church was long ago decommissioned and is today an attractive private house. It looks much as it did in the 1920s, though there is now an addition at the back that juts out at either side. The church's corner stone was laid in October 1894. In the church's heyday, the Evergreen Methodists met several times a week, as shown on the plaque evident in the historic shot and still present today. Though no longer visible from Keswick Road because of foliage, the house in the right background in the old photo, is also still around and little changed (click here).

Date: August 2010.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

         
 
         
 
Along Roland Avenue
       

Set 19

 

Mapped Scene:

The "Miller house" appears on Roland Park maps as early as 1898, though at this early stage the owner is given as Christian Ax. "Elmhurst" is obviously Elmhurst Road and Capron Avenue is today Upland Road.

Map: Bromley, 1898.

 

 

Scene: Here, the unknown photographer is looking northeast at the large, double-turreted house that still dominates the 4800 block of Roland Avenue. Tax records give 1895 as the year of construction, and certainly the house is evident on the 1898 Bromley map — with the Ax household given as the owners. The owner is given as "Geo. Miller" by the time of the Bromley 1915 map. This photo carries no date but the book it appears in was published in 1953, so obviously the shot predates that.

Orig. caption: "Roland Park exhibits many comfortable brown shingled houses with wide porches, dormered roofs and corner towers, such as the Miller house on Roland Avenue."

Date: Unknown but before 1953.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: The Architecture of Baltimore.

 

 

Commentary: By the 1990s, Roland Avenue's grande dame had been turned into apartments. More recently, it has been restored to its former glory as a single-family home. It is, at least as far as external appearances go, to all intents and purposes identical to how it looked in the old photo to the left.

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         

Set 20

 

Mapped Scene:

Absent from the 1898 Bromley map (set 19, above), the church is plainly visible in this detail from the 1915 Bromley map.

Map: Bromley, 1915.

 

 

Scene: Standing on the Roland Avenue streetcar median, the photographer is looking more or less east at the well known Roland Park Presbyterian church. State tax records do not give the year of the church's building. It does not appear in the 1898 Bromley Plat 1 map, though it does appear on the 1915 Bromley map. According to the congregation's web site, "On May 8, 1900, eleven men and ten women met in the home of John T. Hill to discuss the idea of forming a Presbyterian church in the then-new Roland Park neighborhood of Baltimore.... The cornerstone of the church building was laid on July 10, 1902, and seventeen months later on December 6, 1902, dedication services were held." The stone building cost $15,000.

Orig. caption: "Roland Park Presbyterian church — about 1917."

Date: Circa 1917.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Roland Park Revisited.

 

 

Commentary: The church building is considerably different, and bigger, than the one dedicated in 1902. The portico that once adorned the south façade of the church is now gone as, indeed, has the whole façade. The new façade extends considerably further south than the original. With the church's 50th anniversary in 1950, a committee determined on the need considerably to enlarge the church building — by "literally tearing the structure apart and rebuilding it with added spaces," in the words of a former pastor, Donald C. Kerr. The reconstruction cost was $250,000 and the church was rededicated on May 1, 1960. A photo of the church with the old façade removed is here (source: William N. White (ed.), The Centennial Legacy of the Roland Park Presbyterian Church).

Date: April 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         
Set 21
 

 

Scene: This house is on the east side of the 4500 block Roland Avenue.

Orig. caption: "The street façade of Mrs. William H. Bians' home at 117 Roland Avenue. The house was built around 1903."

Date: 1928.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Baltimore County Public Library.

 

 

Commentary: Now styled 4511 Roland Avenue, not 117, the old Bians house has seen its lot considerably deforested but, apart from that, there is no mistaking the place. For readers wondering why this house is now the on the 4500 block, instead of the 100 block, of Roland Avenue, the answer is this. For Roland Park purposes, Roland Avenue was considered to start on the north side of Cold Spring and street numbers started there. The lowest number was 100; there was no unit block. This numbering system still obtains on the north/south non-through streets in plats 2 and 1 that do not pass through Evergreen, i.e., Woodlawn and Hawthorn roads. Through streets such as Roland Avenue or Keswick Road, and non-through streets that pass through Evergreen (Schenley and Wilmslow roads), use the regular city numbering system whereby blocks immediately north of Cold Spring are numbered in the 4500 range. Keswick Road and Roland Avenue were converted to conform to the city numbering system some time after the city's annexation of Roland Park in late 1918.

Date: December 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

       
 
         
Set 22
 

 

Scene:This house, too, is on the east side of the 4500 block Roland Avenue.

Orig. caption: "Home of Theodore F. Krug, co-owner with his father, Gustav, of G. Krug and Son, wrought and cast iron manufacturing specialists. Krug's house was # 109 Roland Avenue, Roland Park, Baltimore, and dated from the beginning decade of the twentieth century."

Date: 1928.

Photographer: From the F. Heath Coggins Company's book Attractive Homes of Prominent People in Maryland.

Source: Baltimore County Public Library.

 

 

Commentary: The Krug house — a distinctive one — now has the address 4505 Roland Avenue (instead of 109). The house now beyond it has not, in the historic photo, yet been built.

To continue the issue of street numbering started with the set above, readers may be wondering why this house is now the fifth house on the block, when apparently it used to be the ninth. (The same goes for the Bians house from set 21, now the eleventh on the block but previously the seventeenth). The answer is: double lots. The east side of the 4500 block of Roland has seven houses on it. But Bromley's 1898 map of Plat 1 shows it to have been platted for 11 (obviously smaller) lots. Under the old numbering system, the houses were numbered by the actual lot they occupied, not by their place in the sequence of buildings. Therefore, a house on the ninth lot would be 109, even if there were only two houses numerically below it (but these occupying double or triple lots).

Date: December 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

         
 
         
Set 23
 

 

Scene: Roland Park Elementary/Middle School as seen from the west side of Roland Avenue, just north of Deepdene. Note the streetcar tracks in the middle of the median strip, the latter screened by privet hedges. Note also that by this time, 1929, a small west wing has been added (far left of the photo). This wing is absent from the banner photo of the school at the top of this page.

Orig. caption: "Roland Park School — 1929."

Date: 1929.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Roland Park Revisited.

 

 

Commentary: Though it is not strictly speaking in Roland Park proper, the RPEMS is all the same one of the general neighborhood's signature buildings. The original Roland Park public school, as distinct from the one in Evergreen, was called Todd's Academy. It was located at the intersection of Roland Avenue and St. John's Road. (The location is shown in the "west" section of this site.) The current RPEMS building, shown above and to the left, was opened in 1924. Initially, the school taught students through the 9th grade; now instruction is through the 8th. The late 1920s west (left) wing was greatly expanded in 1986.

Date: December 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

         
 
         
Set 24
 

 

Scene: Class photo at the main entrance of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School (then Roland Park Public School No. 233), taken in 1962. "Mr. Williamson" is presumably the teacher in the middle of the back row. Notice the civil defense "Casualty Clearing Station" sign to the right of the door; this photo was taken at the height of the Cold War.

Orig. caption: "Roland Park Jr. High, 002, 1962."

Date: 1962.

Photographer: F. Paul Feder.

Source: Leslie Goldsmith collection.

 

 

Commentary: The basic scene is unchanged. If you look carefully to the right of the door, you will see the rust outline of the civil defense sign prominent in the 1962 photo and also that of the lamp bracket. (The site of the other lamp bracket, left, is hidden by the yellow poster.)

Date: December 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

         
 
         
Set 25
 

 

Scene: This is the Gilman School's distinctive Carey Hall, as photographed facing east from Roland Avenue. Originally called the Boys' Country School, Gilman moved to the Roland Park area in 1909. Roland Park Co. President Edward Bouton actively encouraged the location around Roland Park of schools and like institutions. Assuming, perhaps optimistically, that the grounds around them would never be developed, he regarded them as providing a "green belt" girding Roland Park.

Orig. caption: "Gilman School — 1930."

Date: 1930.

Photographer: Unknown.

Source: Roland Park Revisited.

 

 

Commentary: Taken 79 years later, the photo above shows a scene very little changed. The ivy has gone from the building and the foreground lawn has more trees and shrubs than previously, but that is about all. The flagstone path is a replacement (the new flagstones are less regularly shaped than in the old photo), but is is nonetheless as good facsimile.

Date: June 2009.

Photographer: D.P. Munro.

 

         
 
         

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