National Register of Historic Places 05/22/02
Located on a gently sloping piece of land, the Cedarcroft Historic District is bordered by the heavily trafficked Gittings, East Lake, and Bellona Avenues as well as York Road. Aside from one commercial building at the northeast corner of Cedarcroft and one church with an associated parish house, all architecture within the district is residential. Various architectural styles are represented within the community, as the period of significance dates from 1846 to 1956.
Dutch Colonial Revival style, with its notable gambrel roofing, dominates the district along with Federal Revival, which comprises 30% of the buildings in the area. Tudor Revival, Georgian Revival, Cape Cod Revival, Bungalow, and Italianate styles of architecture are also found within the district. The area is noted for its old growth Sycamore trees that are found along the sloping, curved roads, cartways, and house lots. Cedarcroft is additionally known for its original concrete sidewalks, the surfaces of which have visible mixed aggregate, giving a rustic appearance.
The Cedarcroft Historic District is associated with making a significant contribution to the broad pattern of urban development in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. The first house in Cedarcroft was constructed around 1842, soon after the horse-drawn street railway was introduced in Baltimore. This type of railway became established on York Road in 1863 and was later converted into an electrically operated rail system.
The development of Cedarcroft began with the Hopkins family's construction of the area's first house. The construction of this Federal Revival style house in 1848 was the beginning of several important stages in the suburban development of Baltimore City. These stages include the pre-industrial, the urban-industrial, and the metropolitan. Its convenient access to transportation and its accessibility to water from springs and ponds aided Cedarcroft's development. This district illustrates the impact that an architect (in the case of Cedarcroft, Edward L. Palmer, Jr. and his architectural firm of the early 20th century) can have on a community by the use of minimal house designs.