Reservoir Hill

National Register of Historic Places - 12/23/2004


Reservoir Hill MapReservoir Hill is an urban neighborhood just south of Druid Hill Park. The majority of the properties are late-nineteenth to early twentieth century row houses, but the district includes other historic building types from grand mansions to multi-story apartment buildings, a handful of religious and commercial buildings, and a few public monuments. Six to fourteen-story tall early-twentieth century apartment houses front on Druid Hill Park at the northern edge of the district. Individual mansions built in a variety of styles, two older synagogues and one church, and a few commercial buildings provide a break from the neighborhood's row house character.


Reservoir Hill is architecturally significant under National Register Criteria C for numerous individual buildings designed by noteworthy local architects, a variety of residential building types representing the evolving character of the district from scattered country estates to an urban row house neighborhood, and distinctive architectural details reflecting a high level of craftsmanship found in architectural styles from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The area is also historically significant under National Register Criteria A as a prominent Jewish neighborhood in the early 20th century. Within this area, Baltimore's more established German-Jewish community and the newer Eastern European Jewish community co-existed after a previous split between the two groups. The area is also associated with the lives of significant persons under National Register Criteria B including former Communist Whittaker Chambers, writers James M. Cain, Gertrude Stein, and Christopher Morely; photographer, David Bachrach; entrepreneurs Isaac Emerson and Jacob Epstein; and peace activist, Phillip Bergan.