Reservoir Hill, Baltimore
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Reservoir Hill Historic District
Reservoir Hill Historic District, March 2012
|Location||North Ave.--Madison Ave.--Druid Park Lake Dr.--Mt. Royal Terrace, Baltimore, Maryland|
|Area||200 acres (81 ha)|
|Architectural style||Early Republic, Late Victorian|
|NRHP reference #|||
|Added to NRHP||December 23, 2004|
Reservoir Hill, also known as Whitelock, is a neighborhood in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It is located south of Druid Hill Park, north of Bolton Hill, east of Penn-North, and west of Jones Falls. It is bounded by Druid Park Lake Drive, the Jones Falls Expressway, North Avenue (U.S. Route 1), and McCulloh Street. It is contained in the 21217 ZIP code.
About the area
Reservoir Hill has some of the best examples of Victorian, Italianate and Second Empire style homes in Baltimore. The housing stock features a wide variety of nineteenth century architecture, including ornate Victorian mansions overlooking the Druid Hill Park, brownstones, and the smaller brick rowhouses that characterize much of Baltimore. Part of Reservoir Hill is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although restoration efforts have brought new life to portions of the area, many houses are in poor condition.
Portions of Reservoir Hill are within easy walking distance of the North Avenue station on the Baltimore Light Rail line and the Penn-North station on the Baltimore Metro Subway, as well as Pennsylvania Station on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Baltimore was the second largest port for immigrants coming to the United States behind Ellis Island of New York, and many of these immigrants lived in Reservoir Hill. Many came over from the Russian Empire (mostly Jews and Ukrainians), and certain parts of Reservoir Hill housed many migrants from other parts of Eastern Europe.
A section of Reservoir Hill is known as Mount Royal. It is just across North Avenue from Bolton Hill and close to the Jones Falls. It is generally more expensive and contains very well preserved homes. A portion of this has been declared the Mount Royal Terrace Historic District by Baltimore City.
Soviet spies Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers lived in the area. Hiss grew up on 1427 Linden Avenue. Chambers lived on Mount Royal Terrace just prior to his defection from the Soviet Underground in April 1938. Earlier in the 1930s, he lived on Eutaw Place. Spy photographer Felix Inslerman worked for Chambers and lived on Callow Avenue.
Mt. Royal Terrace (1890-1940)
The Baltimore City directories from Enoch Pratt Free Library indicate that many residents of Mt. Royal lived in their homes for several decades. It was a community based neighborhood where everyone knew each other. The Baltimore City directories also show that many residents were employees of blue collar companies. Many people from these blocks were either factory workers, construction workers, electricians, police officers, nurses, etc. The historical Baltimore Sun contains a vast amount of information regarding residents of Mt. Royal Terrace between 1890 - 1940.
Many residents of Mt. Royal lived quiet hard working lives. One man named Samuel W. Filbert is an example of a common Mt. Royal resident. Filbert resided on 2200 Mt. Royal Terrace with his wife "Miss May (Filbert). Samuel, like many of the Mt. Royal residents worked a rigorous blue collar job as a construction worker for the "Filbert Paving and Construction Company." It was a family owned business located in Baltimore. Samuel was the General manager of the company until he joined the military. Like many young men, Filberts career was affected by World War I. Filbert became a soldier in the 4th Maryland Regiment where he would soon be promoted to Lieutenant - Colonel of the infantry. Filbert became a very decorated military figure in the Mt. Royal area. He was held several titles in the 4th Regiment of Maryland including Captain and Lieutenant - Colonel.
Samuel W. Filbert represented the common lifestyle of a resident in not only the Mt. Royal area, but Baltimore city during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The people in these areas were very hard working, communal, and loyal to the area. Many of the residents passed their homes off to their children, nephews, and nieces. 1890 - 1940 was a hard time in American History. The Great Depression greatly affected many lives during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Many residents of Baltimore lost job opportunities. Many young men took advantage of joining the military. The Filbert Paving and Construction Company went out of business right after the stock market crash of 1929. Samuel Filbert elected to join the military in order to earn some type of wage. In the military he was fortunate enough to become very successful. Despite The Great Depression, Mt. Royal still remained very much alive.
Upper Eutaw Madison
The Upper Eutaw Madison neighborhood is also designated as an historic district. It is located on the western side of Reservoir Hill. This neighborhood includes many grand houses on Eutaw Place and Madison Avenue, as well three large historic apartment buildings that are located directly across from Druid Hill Park on Madison and Eutaw. Chauncey Brooks' mansion Cloverdale was once located in this area.
- Population: 5,600 (According to the 2010 Census)
- Black/African-American: 88.0%
- White/Caucasian: 9.0%
- Two or More Races 2.0%
- Asian/Pacific Islander: 0.4%
- Native American: 0.5%
- Other 0.1%
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Fred B. Shoken (June 2004). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Reservoir Hill Historic District" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
- Kelly, Jacques (November 29, 2013). "A Baltimore house known for its famous residents is brought back to life". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Baltimore Sun. "Obituary for Karl Shapiro"
- Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. New York: Random House. pp. 26 (Mount Royal Terrace), 42 (defection), 46 (detection), 84 (mention); 393–394 (Eutaw Place). LCCN 52005149.
- Kelly, Jacques (13 April 1997). "Taking a spy turn through city's neighborhoods". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- Enoch Pratt Free Library
- "Bride is Well Known" Baltimore Sun. August 7, 1903. Pro Quest Historical Newspapers. The Historical Baltimore Sun
- "Brick and Clay Record." University of Michigan. August 1917.
- "Captain Filbert Wins." Baltimore Sun. October 21, 1913. Pro Quest Historical Newspapers. Historical Baltimore Sun
- Census Demographic Profiles. "2010 United States Census".
- Reservoir Hill Improvement Council
- Bolton Park Neighbors
- Historic Mount Royal Terrace Association
- "Mortgage Crisis Reverses Tide of Urban Renewal," The Washington Post
- "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" Stacy A. Teicher, Christian Science Monitor
- Inside a Victorian Mansion in Baltimore's Reservoir Hill
- Reservoir Hill Historic District, Baltimore City, including photo dated 2004, at Maryland Historical Trust, and accompanying map