National Register of Historic Places 11/11/71
Certified Historic District for Tax Incentives 6/19/80
(The Baltimore City Historic District encompasses a smaller National Register Historic District.)
The Mount Vernon Historic district encompasses some forty city blocks immediately surrounding and north of Mount Vernon Place. The district takes in mansion houses, townhouses, early luxury apartments, monuments, institutions of art and learning, and churches. There is a diversity of building types, styles, and uses that feature a grand scale, high degree of decoration, and classical elegance.
Mount Vernon Place is a cross-shaped park area featuring four landscaped squares radiating from the Washington Monument. Large mansions, such as the Gladdings House; institutions, such as the Peabody Institute and Walters Art Gallery; elegant townhouses; and the Mount Vernon Methodist Church front on the park-like squares. Renaissance Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Richardsonian Romanesque style townhouses can be found throughout the district.
Housing ranges from the enormous Winans House to the ornate row called Belvedere Terrace to the tiny gabled roof houses of Tyson Street. Many noteworthy, ornate churches dot the area. Largely Gothic, the churches often feature brownstone construction and lofty spires. Many other nineteenth and twentieth century buildings, both commercial and residential, contribute to Mount Vernon's historic character.
The Mount Vernon area is significant for its fine architecture and public squares, and associations to important people. Mount Vernon Place is a unique American square that is distinguishable in shape and design from most other urban places in the country. Differing in style, the structures around Mount Vernon Place retain a grand scale and excellent design that reinforces this urban space as Baltimore's finest. The residential, commercial, and institutional buildings of the Mount Vernon District are among the most elaborate nineteenth and early twentieth century structures in Baltimore.
Many noteworthy architects designed the buildings in this district. They include Stanford White, Robert Carey Long, Baldwin and Pennington, John Russell Pope, Wyatt and Nolting, Parker and Thomas, and J.A. Wilson. Many important people that lived in the Mount Vernon community played a great role in the history of Baltimore and the founding and development of important local institutions. Among these people are: George Peabody, Enoch Pratt, William and Henry Walters, Henry August Rowland, Johns Hopkins, Emily Post and Ira Remsen.