National Register of Historic Places- 7/22/2009



The Hollins-Roundhouse Historic District is a primarily residential area located directly north of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's Mount Clare yard and shops on W. Pratt Street in Baltimore, Maryland. The area began to be developed soon after the railroad began its car building operations at Mount Clare in the mid-1830s. The district is characterized by a variety of rowhouse forms typical of Baltimore during the period. The majority of the houses in the central portion of the Historic District are modest in scale and were built in the 1840s and early 1850s to accommodate the influx of railroad workers in the area, many of whom were recent immigrants from both Ireland and Germany. The northeastern section of the district, facing Hollins Street, is entirely different, being characterized by large, stylish three-story houses in both the Greek Revival and Italianate styles, built between the 1850s and the early 1890s for an upwardly mobile middle class composed of local business owners and professionals. This area is also important because it became the center of Baltimore's immigrant Lithuanian community in the early years of the twentieth century. 


The Hollins-Roundhouse Historic District is significant under National Register Criteria A and C. The district derives significance under Criterion A for its association with the early development of rail transportation. The area was the primary location, in the middle of the nineteenth century, of houses and services for the employees of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad's Mount Clare yards and car-building shops. From its inception in 1828, the nation's first railroad quickly expanded its locomotive and car-building shops just south of this historic area on W. Pratt Street, at the same time that it was laying track steadily westward in service of its company directors' goal to reach the Ohio River.

The district derives additional significance under Criterion A for its association with ethnic immigration to Baltimore in the 19th century. In the 1840s and 1850s, the area was one of the centers of Irish and German immigration into the city. Both groups settled initially in Fells Point, where their ships docked, but gradually made their way north and west to newly developing areas like Hollins-Roundhouse, where they built important churches, schools, and institutional buildings. The Irish Catholic church, St. Peter the Apostle, built in 1843 in the Greek Revival style by a prominent local architect, is already on the National Register. Later, beginning in the 1880s and continuing through the 1920s, the district became established as the center of Baltimore's immigrant Lithuanian community.