Proposed: Old Goucher CHAP District
The proposed Old Goucher Historic District is an area in the middle of Baltimore which developed in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is characterized generally by two and three story brick row houses constructed mostly in the nineteenth century and several large scale institutional and commercial buildings dating from both centuries.
Stylistically, the area is characterized primarily by Italianate, Romanesque, Colonial Revival, and Art Deco influences. North Charles Street, the city's major axis street, travels the middle of the district.
The buildings to the east of Charles Street generally stand at the lot lines by the sidewalks. On Charles Street and west, the buildings have deep setbacks. Running east and west at the center of the district are a series of large scale, multiple story brick and stone structures built for the Women's College of Baltimore. Present-day Goucher College is now located in Baltimore County. Scattered throughout the district are several free-standing houses, generally large in scale, and several other free-standing commercial and municipal buildings.
Many of the row houses have been converted for commercial use and apartments. Some have had commercial fronts added over time. Although compromises to the integrity of the district are very much noticeable, the district overall still reads as a late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Baltimore neighborhood in scale, plan, and buildings.
The Old Goucher Historic District is significant for its association with the history of Baltimore and the architectural character of the buildings, which stand in it. The district was developed during a period of rapid growth. The city's population was increasing by about 100,000 each decade from 1870 through the 1950's. In 1888, the city annexed a twenty-three square mile region to the north and west. This annexation nearly tripled the landmass of Baltimore. The Old Goucher Historic District was brought into the city by this annexation. Mostly vacant land at the time of the annexation, the district was almost fully developed by the turn of the century. It developed as a prestigious residential and institutional neighborhood with commercial overtones.
The residents were generally of a professional class. Goucher College, formerly Women's College of Baltimore, was established here. Architecturally significant examples of the major styles, which characterize Baltimore, are found here. Of particular note is the Romanesque Lovely Lane Methodist Church. Three buildings designed by the nationally reknowned architect Stanford White are found here, as well as examples of work by prominent Baltimore architects. The period of significance covers the period from construction of the first extant building to the start of World War II when the general character of Baltimore began to change visually and culturally with the growth of the suburbs.