2600 Block Wilkens Avenue: Mill Hill Deck Of Cards
Baltimore City Historic District Ordinance 97-128 03/18/98
The 2600 block of Wilkens Avenue is located in Southwest Baltimore just northwest of the Gwynns Falls. The district is characterized by the City's longest block of rowhouses stretching for more than 1,800 feet. The rowhouses are 1912 interpretations of Late 19th century Italianate row/townhouses. Each house is two-bays wide and two-stories tall. The facades are made up of marble bases and steps, the first and second floors are of yellow/orange brick, and a white molded cornice. Each residence can be distinguished by brackets with ornamental balls at the cornice line, visually separating the houses. The first story windows and doors received special treatment by having lead or stained glass transoms. Finally, each window and doorframe is accentuated by marble trim.
The Mill Hill Deck of Cards Block Historic District is architecturally significant as being the longest unbroken row of houses in Baltimore, and perhaps the world, it is constructed on what once was the major thoroughfare between Baltimore and Washington D.C. Built in 1912 this block was developed by Walter L. Westphaul on land originally owned by William Wilkens for whom the avenue is named. His initial development spurred development from Wilkens Avenue to Frederick Avenue. The majority of the early residents worked at the William Wilkens Company (hair factory) or at any of the numerous breweries in Baltimore. The houses were originally sold at $1,250.00 a piece and came equipped with a full basement, complete wiring, piping for natural gas and sewage, and hot air heating. These built-in features certainly distinguished this block from most others, as well as being Baltimore's longest.