|Mount Clare is the oldest extant colonial building in Baltimore. It was built in 1760 by Charles Carroll, a barrister (lawyer), and distant relative of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Charles Carroll the barrister inherited the family plantation upon the death of his brother and constructed Mount Clare, a two-story Georgian brick house with a partial basement and attic, at that time. The outbuildings of the plantation were all destroyed after the house fell out of family hands in 1840. During the Civil War, Union officers used Mount Clare as quarters. After 1865 a group of German men leased the house and used it as a German beer garden until 1890, when the City of Baltimore purchased the house and 70 acres of land for a park in South Baltimore. The National Society of Colonial Dames in Maryland took over operation in 1917, providing needed repairs, restoration and redecoration.
Mount Clare’s north or front facade features a projecting portico with a classical entablature. Rising above the portico, a one-story chamber displays a Palladian window and a pedimented gable roof. The south facade uses colossal brick pilasters at the corners of the pavilion and the house. In 1910, the City of Baltimore reconstructed the wings and hyphens, and while they still exist, they do not resemble the original dependencies.
Mount Clare, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 1500 Washington Blvd. in Carroll Park. The house museum is open to the public year-round, Tuesday–Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm with guided tours departing on the hour, last tour at 3:00 pm. Closed Sunday, Monday and major holidays. There is a fee for admission. For more information call 410-837-3262 or visit the house’s website.
Photo courtesy of Mount Clare Museum
Photo by National Park Service staff