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Druid Hill Park’s Historic Buildings (Part One)

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Druid Hill Park has an array of historic structures within its boundaries. Opened just before the Civil War, the enormous public estate features monuments, installations and buildings from a time before ours.

George A. Frederick designed many of the park’s buildings. His Moorish Tower stands at the southeast edge of Druid Hill Lake, the location overlooking the city. Another Frederick design is the Palm House (or Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens) located at McCulloh and Gwynn Falls Parkway, near the zoo entrance. Completed in 1888, the Victorian style building is the last of Baltimore’s greenhouses still standing. Carroll Park, Patterson Park and Clifton Park all had similar buildings at one time, each falling victim to decay and demolition. The Druid Hill’s Conservatory was restored in 2004. Frederick also designed the main entrance on Madison Avenue, as well as the numerous pavilions scattered throughout the park including Council Grove Station and Latrobe Pavilion.

The regal Mansion House sits on a hill, its front yard a vast open field. Designed by Colonel Nicholas Rogers IV and buiilt in the late 18th century the building was the former home of the Rogers Family. Lloyd Nicholas Rogers (son of the Colonel) reluctantly sold the mansion and estate to the city of Baltimore in 1860. The English style residence and corresponding country landscape was preserved when the city began designing and constructing the park. George A. Frederick and John H. B. Latrobe made alterations and additions to the mansion during the late 1800s. The building now contains the main office of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

The headquarters for Baltimore’s Department of Recreation and Parks is housed in the restored public bathhouse. After a $2.6 million renovation in 1994, the white marble structure was opened as the Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones, Jr. Building. The structure was designed by Josias and Hall Pennington and completed in 1924.

The Grove of Remembrance Pavilion was installed in 1927. The grove itself was planted in 1919 as a memorial to those who fought in WWI and is possibly the oldest living memorial in the United States. A tree was planted for each state, the city of Baltimore and president Woodrow Wilson. The grove has since been rededicated to include all of America’s conflicts and those that lost their lives in them. Colonel Israel Rosenfeld paid for the pavilion in honor of his fallen soldier son, Merrill Rosenfeld.

The Superintendent’s House was built in 1872 and was designed by George A. Frederick. It stands on small parcel of land disconnected from Druid Hill bounded by Auchentorly Terrace, Liberty Heights Avenue and Reisterstown Road. The Gothic style mansion is slated for complete renovation.

Written by monumentcity

February 1st, 2010 at 9:36 am