Coldstream Homestead Montebello
National Register of Historic Places 10/23/13
The Coldstream Homestead Montebello Historic District is a residential neighborhood located in northeastern Baltimore City, an area that was part of Baltimore County prior to its suburban development. The triangular-shaped community is bounded on the southeast side by Harford Road, a highly traveled route leading directly into downtown Baltimore. The historic district is set on a high plateau overlooking Clifton Park to its southeast and Lake Montebello to its northeast; Baltimore City College overlooks the neighborhood from the northwest side. The Coldstream Homestead Montebello Historic District was created and improved by several developers. Dr. Theodore Cooke constructed the eastern portion of the district, bound by Hillen Road to the west, Harford Road to the south and east, and East 33rd Street to the north. Frank Novak Realty Company constructed the western section of the district, bound by The Alameda and Kirk Avenue to the west, 29th Street to the south, Hillen Road to the east, and 33rd Street to the north. Rochester-Kirkness Realty Company, Joseph H. White Realty, and Broring Building Company developed the southwestern section of the neighborhood. The Coldstream Homestead Montebello Historic District is made up of streets lined with row houses. Reflecting the architectural fashions of the 1910s to just before World War II, the row houses are eclectically adorned with elements of the Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, and Italianate styles.
The Coldstream Homestead Montebello Historic District is a cohesive residential neighborhood composed of fashionable brick row houses dating from the first half of the twentieth century. Capitalizing on the electrification of the streetcar following the annexation of the area from Baltimore County, numerous developers, among them Frank Novak and Dr. Theodore Cooke, platted the area and oversaw construction of continuous rows of two-story single-family dwellings that epitomized suburban middle-class living with stylistic embellishments and materials, modern amenities, open front porches, and green lawns. The neighborhood illustrates the transition in row house design in Baltimore City from long and narrow structures of the Artistic period dressed in the Italianate style, to short and wide buildings of the Classical and Colonial Revival styles from the Daylight period. The realty companies exploited the neighborhood’s proximity to Clifton Park, Lake Montebello, and Baltimore City College, promoting the area’s rural characteristics and open spaces; all of which remain beneficial to the residents. Wide boulevards with landscaped medians, tree-lined streets, alleys with garages, stone-veneered churches reflecting the Late Gothic Revival style, and corner stores anchored within the uniform rows of houses add to the community’s strong sense of place. The Coldstream Homestead Montebello Historic District meets Criterion A because of its role in the suburbanization of Northeast Baltimore and its association with middle-class Baltimoreans seeking the suburban ideal. The historic district also meets Criterion C as a cohesive residential neighborhood that illustrates the characteristics of early-twentieth-century row house design in form, materials, and design. The Coldstream Homestead Montebello Historic District reflects a period of significance from 1908, when the first section was platted, to 1937, when the last of the row houses were constructed.