Hochschild, Kohn, Belvedere and Hess Shoes
National Register of Historic Places: 12/18/2003
Paired retail shops, Hochschild, Kohn Belvedere (1946-1948) and Hess Shoes 1948, comprise a two building district that consist of the intact modern style core of a ca. 1948 commercial development. Anchoring the intersection of York Road and Belvedere Avenue in northern Baltimore City, the district visually distinguishes itself through coupled display of iconic modern features such as signage as ornament, absence of cornice, emphasis of contrast of materials, and incorporation of innovative materials.
Hochschild, Kohn Belvedere (H-K Belvedere) is a 45,000 square foot two story plus basement modernist brick department store building designed by James R. Edmunds, Jr. that features a rounded corner with a glazed curtain wall facing the prominent intersection. Located across Belvedere Avenue, Hess Shoes is a smaller one story plus basement brick and stone veneered modernist specialty store designed by Tyler. Ketcham and Myers feature a prominent pylon facing York Road. H-K Belvedere and Hess Shoes meet National Register Criterion C because the district embodies the distinctive characteristics of suburban store types during the transition from Pre-war City center development to later suburban regional centers.
Both buildings in the district are in good condition. While Hochschild. Kohn Belvedere has lost elements of its signage and circulation; it still retains sufficient integrity to represent this important moment in the evolution of the suburban department store. Hess Shoes is remarkably intact and retains a high level of integrity.
Hochschild, Kohn Belvedere and Hess Shoes (1946-1948) comprise a two-building district that is remarkable for its outstanding examples of post-World War II suburban branch stores, notable in Maryland for their modernist style. The district meets National Register Criterion C because the district embodies the distinctive characteristics of suburban store types during the transition from pre-war-city-center development to later suburban regional centers. Anchoring the corner of York Road and Belvedere Avenue in northern Baltimore City, the district illustrates the metamorphosis of shopping center and retail store typologies immediately following World War II. Top Baltimore retailers in the first half of the 20th century, Hochschild, Kohn and Co. and Hess Shoes pioneered development of suburban branch stores in Maryland's retail hub. The period of significant district spans from 1946 to early 1954, reflecting the retail zenith of these establishments.