Two houses for Geo. A. Blake

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Two houses for Geo. A. Blake
Site Information
Address10-12 West Biddle Street
Geo-reference39°18′13″N 76°36′59″W / 39.30352°N 76.61652°W / 39.30352; -76.61652
OwnerGeorge A. Blake
Building Data
Building TypeDwelling
Architectural StyleEclectic
Number of Floors4
ArchitectJ. Appleton Wilson
Architecture FirmWilson & Wilson
Start Date1884

When the Northern Central Railroad merged with the Pennsylvania and got direct access to East Baltimore through Union Station (now Penn Station) and the Jones Falls Valley, the Northern Central abandoned a large full-service rail yard that took up most of the space between today's Mount Vernon and today's Bolton Hill, and a great deal of land came open for development. Since a number of factories had located near the rail yard, and there was no comprehensive development plan and no single developer, things moved slowly and fitfully. The Panic of 1873, which hit just as Union Station was being built, also slowed things up. Very little building took place between 1873 and about 1879. When things got moving again, George A. Blake and his brother, Charles D. Blake, who had an established relationship with the Northern Central, built a number of houses, starting with these in 1884 and working until the next Panic, in 1893.

J. Appleton Wilson describes the houses as being "near St. Paul," which these houses are not, so it is possible that Wilson is referring to different addresses. But these are the houses that Wilson photographed for Wilson Collection photo 3.33.

George Blake was a successful builder-developer. He often worked with his brothers, Charles and Henry Blake. They are described as "Blake Brothers" in this Wiki.

Source: J. Appleton Wilson list of Executed Project No. 120. "2 houses for Geo. A. Blake in Biddle near St. Paul." Wilson Collection photo 3.33.