1017 North Calvert Street
|1017 North Calvert Street|
|Address||1017 North Calvert Street|
|Architectural Style||High Victorian Gothic|
|Number of Floors||4|
|Architect||J. Appleton Wilson|
|Architecture Firm||Wilson & Wilson|
Belvidere Terrace is generally thought to be the best Victorian block in Baltimore, and this house, one of four identical stone-fronted houses at the center of a fourteen-house composition, is good enough to support that claim. But Belvidere Terrace is also thought to be America’s best urban example of the Queen Anne style, and there is nothing Queen Anne about these four stone-fronted houses, though they harmonize nicely with their brick-fronted Queen Anne neighbors. There is nothing like them in Victorian Baltimore. To call them High Victorian Gothic seems wrong. They are too gentle, too serene, too mature. They would look at home on a college campus, and you would not be surprised to see a cornerstone with a date in the 1900s.
Whatever name you may give to the style of these four stone-fronted houses, their design is both solid and exquisitively sensitive. Never again would Wilson & Wilson, or any Baltimore architect in the 19th century, produce effects as marvelously subtle as the juxtaposition of stone and brick around the projecting bay windows on the second floors of these houses.
The developer was Catherine L. McKim, widow of John S. McKim, Sr. The McKims had lived at Belvidere, John Eager Howard’s 1788 country house, which stood in the roadbed of Calvert Street in this block. When the City required the demolition of the house, probably in 1875, Mrs. McKim developed the east side of the block, using Wilson & Wilson as their architects. The project began with 1035 and 1037, built in 1879, and continued in 1880 with the fourteen-house row stretching from 1003 to 1029. For reasons unknown, the houses at 1001 and 1039 were not part of this project and were designed by other architects.
In the next year, the McKims developed the west side of the block in the same style but with a different team, Wyatt & Sperry architects Blake Brothers builder.
Source: Historic American Buildings Survey. HABS MD 1177