National Register of Historic Places: 01/06/04

Description (map)

Mayfield is a residential community of approximately sixteen city blocks in northeast Baltimore. Wedged between two city parks and a reservoir - Clifton Park, Herring Run Park and Lake Montebello - the district is comprised of a variety of residential building types, including free-standing Victorian frame houses, small brick rows, large early twentieth century suburban villas, and early to mid-twentieth century frame tract houses and masonry duplexes. Five Churches, a small commercial grouping and a variety of residential garages complete the built environment of the district.

The district includes 408 properties. The western portion of the district, between Lake Montebello and Harford Road (including the east side of Harford Road), is the oldest and most diverse. Lots are generally smaller, with brick rows and duplexes filling gaps between Victorian era houses on larger lots. The southeastern edge of the district features notable, large single-family suburban villas on quarter acre or larger lots built in a variety of styles popular in the early twentieth century. The remainder of the district is made up of later tract houses and masonry duplexes dating from c. 1920-1945. Harford Road, a major traffic artery, gives way to quiet tree-lined streets in the interior of the community, including two streets landscaped medians on the western half of the district. A variety of stone walls, fences, terraced lawns and private gardens are the chief landscape features within the district.


Mayfield is architecturally significant under National Register Criteria "C." This neighborhood embodies the distinctive characteristics of a community that evolved from a mid to late nineteenth century rural settlement along an early turnpike route to into an early twentieth century residential neighborhood on the cusp of urban/suburban development. The district retains residential housing types encompassing all stages of its evolution - early rural free-standing buildings; turn of the century frame houses in a village setting; early twentieth century brick duplexes and row houses filling gaps between earlier frame houses; early twentieth century suburban villas on large lots; and later suburban style frame tract houses and brick duplexes.

Mayfield combines characteristics of both the severe row house grid of urban neighborhood south of Clifton Park and the contoured roads and freestanding houses of inner ring suburban neighborhood north of Herring Run Park. The historic district is unique for its park-like surroundings, which act as a buffer between this heterogeneous mix of urban and suburban building types, and contrast with the more homogeneous urban and suburban neighborhood in its immediate vicinity.

While there are a few individually distinctive buildings within the district, the built environment as a whole is significant, representing the evolving character of Baltimore from rural to urban to suburban. As a neighborhood built up primarily in the early automobile era, another distinct feature of Mayfield is a variety of garages often designed to be compatible to large individually designed houses. Mayfield housed noteworthy Baltimore residents, as well as other middle class citizens, mostly of Germanic heritage. The historic district designation of Mayfield fills a gap, both chronologically and geographically, between the older, urbanized Baltimore East/South Clifton Park historic district to the south and the suburban Lauraville historic district to the north.