Ephraim Francis Baldwin
Although born in Troy, New York, Baldwin lived most of his life in Baltimore, Maryland. After his father, a civil engineer, died, his mother moved to her hometown of Baltimore, where Baldwin would be educated and raised. He attended Loyola Blakefield from 1850 to 1852. He attended Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland briefly, from 1854 to 1855.
Little else is known about Baldwin's personal life. He married Ellen Douglas Jamison in 1873; they had seven sons and two daughters, and his eldest son, Francis J. Baldwin, became an architect and joined his father's firm. He was known as a devout Catholic and was a member of various Catholic societies. In 1870, he was elected a director of the newly organized Maryland Academy of Arts.
Baldwin died at his home in Baltimore in 1916. He is buried in New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore.
Baldwin developed a love and talent for architecture as a draftsman and apprentice in the offices of Niernsee & Neilson. His first work of any consequence was Mt. Hope Retreat (later the Seton Institute, now demolished) in Baltimore. He left Niernsee & Neilson in 1867 and practiced on his own for two years. In 1869, Baldwin entered into a partnership with Bruce Price, whom he had met as a trainee at Niernsee & Neilson. They are credited with designing 10 East Chase Street, Baltimore, Maryland, in about 1870. The partnership of Baldwin & Price was short-lived: in 1873, Price moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. During the next ten years, Baldwin practiced alone. In 1883, he entered in a long and fruitful partnership with Josias Pennington, who had been a draftsman at Baldwin & Price.
Baldwin and Price were elected to membership in the Baltimore Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in December 1870. Baldwin served as a Secretary of the Chapter until his resignation in 1888 over a disagreement between himself and a competitor, George A. Frederick.
Over the course of his fifty-year career, Baldwin designed some 500 churches, banks, office buildings, warehouses, railroad stations, municipal and public buildings, hospitals, schools, clubs, and residences. His work can be found from New York to Ohio, and from Pennsylvania to Georgia, though eighty percent of his work can be found in Maryland. About 150 of those buildings still stand.
In 1872, Baldwin was appointed the head architect for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, a position previously held by John Rudolph Niernsee, his mentor. Over the next 25 years he designed stations and other structures for the railroad, including many of its most famous buildings. Perhaps the best known are the passenger car shop in Baltimore that is now the central roundhouse at the B&O Railroad Museum, the passenger station at Point of Rocks, Maryland and the B&O Warehouse at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Other surviving Baldwin stations can be found in:
- Mount Royal Station, Baltimore, Maryland
- Laurel, Maryland. The Laurel Railroad Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
- Kensington, Maryland
- Rockville, Maryland. Moved and converted to law offices.
- Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Gaithersburg B&O Railroad Station and Freight Shed was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
- Germantown, Maryland is a reconstruction; the original was destroyed by arson in 1978.
- Dickerson, Maryland; heavily damaged by fire in the late 1970s/early 1980s, it was extensively rebuilt.
- Brunswick, Maryland part of the Brunswick Historic District.
- Sykesville, Maryland was made into a notable model railroad kit.
- Mount Airy, Maryland.
- Harpers Ferry, West Virginia was moved from its original location in the 1930s and later had its control tower removed. It was restored in 2007 and the tower was rebuilt. It was officially re-dedicated on Saturday, April 28, 2007.
- Hancock, West Virginia, known as Brosius Station, after the original name of its location.
- Paw Paw, West Virginia
- Keyser, West Virginia, a brick station built in 1875.
- Piedmont, West Virginia survives in a modified form, including removal of a top floor.
- Oakland, Maryland
- Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, a large wooden station.
- Winchester, Virginia. Stone exterior; currently the headquarters of the small Winchester and Western Railroad
- West Newton, Pennsylvania
- Washington, Pennsylvania
- Morgantown, West Virginia, currently a visitor's center.
- Weston, West Virginia, in use as a municipal building.
- Frostburg, Maryland, a wooden station built for the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad in 1891.
- New Oxford, Pennsylvania, built for the Western Maryland Railway, currently a museum.
Baldwin's stations are a favorite with photographers because of their picturesque appearance. Built of brick or wood in the Queen Anne Style, the most famous are festooned with decorative gables, spires, and brickwork.
Catholic Church and institutions
The Catholic Church was also a major part of his life and work. Baldwin took a special interest in ecclesiastical work, undoubtedly motivated by his own religious beliefs and dedication. His work on churches, seminaries, schools, and health care facilities spanned his entire career. He was awarded a gold medal, Bene Merenti, by Pope Leo XII for his work on the buildings at The Catholic University of America.
Among his many other churches and Catholic buildings are the following:
- The Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Mt.Washington (He was a parishioner here)
- Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, GA
- St. Ann's Church in Baltimore
- St. Leo's Church in Baltimore
- Church of St. John the Evangelist in Forest Glen, Maryland
- Theresa Hall at the Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore
- Buildings at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore
Notes and references
- "E. (Ephraim) Francis Baldwin". The Baltimore Architecture Foundation. Retrieved May 27, 2006.
- Ephraim Francis Baldwin (1837-1916) information at Structurae. Retrieved on May 27, 2006.
- "Ephraim Francis Baldwin". ZhurnalWiki. Retrieved May 27, 2006.
- U.S. National Park Service, Historic American Engineering Record, Washington, D.C.(2003). "Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Harpers Ferry Station, Potomac Street, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV." Written Historical and Descriptive Data. Survey no. HAER WV-86.