Monument City Blog

Branches of Baltimore History

Spring House of Dairy at the BMA

without comments

The Baltimore Museum of Art is located in Charles Village at the bottom edge of Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus. The BMA features paintings by Matisse, Picasso and Van Gogh along side ancient mosaics, miniatures and stained glass. And admission is free. The Spring House of Dairy sits on the western end of the museum’s property. Designed by acclaimed architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe in 1812, the small building was once located in what is now Roland Park at the former Oakland estate. Oakland was owned by the retired South Carolina State Senator Robert Goodloe Harper, a close friend of Latrobe’s, and the son-in-law of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. The building was originally situated over a running spring using the cool waters to preserve milk and other perishables. Spring House had a detailed frieze (possibly sculpted by Antonio Capellano) that has since been lost to the ages.

When John Russell Pope was designing the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1929, the Spring House of Dairy was donated to the project. Pope reconstructed the small Neoclassical style structure with as many original components as possible. He used the construction to offset the Wyman Gatehouse at the other end of the property, the subtle technique providing a balanced perspective between the lot’s three buildings.

Written by monumentcity

March 2nd, 2011 at 10:18 am