Franklin Square

National Register of Historic Places 12/10/82
Certified Historic District for Tax Incentives (NR)


Franklin Square MapFranklin Square is a nineteenth century rowhouse neighborhood developed along a strict grid pattern. Located in West Baltimore, it encompasses approximately twenty-four city blocks. A one square block public park, Franklin Square is a focal point for the area and provides a relaxing open space in the midst of a heavily urbanized area. The most elaborate rowhousing surrounds the square; however, two mid-twentieth century school buildings intrude on the nineteenth century environment. The rowhousing in the area is generally brick and three stories in height with characteristic Baltimore flat facades and fine detailing. Some bowed front rowhousing and later rowhouse types are extant on the northern and western edges of the district. A few large stone churches are located within the Franklin Square area. The district contains approximately 1,300 buildings of which approximately 1,250 contribute to the character of the district.


The Franklin Square area is primarily significant as one of the most architecturally distinguished mid-nineteenth century rowhouse neighborhoods in Baltimore City. The areas centers on a 2 ½ acre square or public park which was donated to the City by the developers of surrounding housing to ensure a quality neighborhood and a successful real estate venture. This development procedure can be considered an early form of community planning in Baltimore. The rowhouse architecture built in Franklin Square epitomizes traditional Baltimore rowhouse architecture, which stresses a flatness and simplicity of brick facades and fine details to accentuate windows, doors and rooflines. Immediately surrounding Franklin Square are some of Baltimore's most distinguished rowhouse groupings or terraces, such as Waverly Terrace, Linden Place and Canby Place.