Doors Open Baltimore

Tour curated by: Baltimore Architecture Foundation

On Saturday, October 22nd, the Baltimore Architecture Foundation, in partnership with AIA Baltimore, will present the third annual Doors Open Baltimore! Learn about Charm City’s fascinating history through its architecture and the people who design and preserve it by visiting over fifty buildings.

Doors Open Baltimore is a self-guided event, and sites can be enjoyed by foot, bicycle, public transit, or car. Participants are encouraged to take advantage of Baltimore’s public transit services such as the free Charm City Circulator.

Follow Doors Open Baltimore on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use the #dob2016 hashtag to join the conversation!

Learn more on the Doors Open Baltimore website.

Locations for Tour

In January 1844, a group of Maryland residents gathered in the offices of the Maryland Colonization Society at the Baltimore City Post Office and established the Maryland Historical Society. They proposed collecting the "remnants of the…

Enoch Pratt was a wealthy Baltimore merchant and major benefactor of many Baltimore institutions, including the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, the Sheppard Pratt Hospital, and of course the Enoch Pratt Free Library. He began to build a mansion…

In 1775, Patapsco Meeting, in what was then Baltimore County recorded that they wished to move their Meeting to Baltimore Town. By 1781, at the cost of $4,500, a new Meetinghouse had been erected at Fayette Street (then Pitt) and Aisquith Street…

Founded in 1871, the Baltimore Chapter of The American Institute of Architects is the third oldest in the country. AIABaltimore serves as the voice of the architecture profession in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The chapter consists of nearly…

Built in the 1930s, the simple brick exterior housed an intricate timber framework to support the whiskey barrels, walls, and roof. After many years of vacancy, the building was given new life as part of the American Visionary Art Museum, which…

Baltimore Clayworks occupies the former Mount Washington Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library that opened at Smith and Greeley Avenues on January 5, 1921. Originally known as Branch 21, the building was designed by by local architect Edward H.…

Baltimore’s Locust Point was a rapidly growing neighborhood between the Civil War and 1920. One major factor in the neighborhood’s growth was an immigration pier and depot built in 1867 by the B&O Railroad and the North German Lloyd Shipping…

In the late 1970s, Mayor William Donald Schaefer proposed the creation of a museum to tell the story of Baltimore industry across two centuries of American history. Even before they found a building, Baltimore City officials organized an exhibit at…

Baltimore welcomed public mass transit in 1859 as the city ballooned to 170,000 people and the need for affordable transportation swelled. As transit technology raced ahead from horse drawn carts to steam, cable and eventually electric powered cars,…

In 1919, the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore appointed a War Memorial Commission that initiated a nationwide architectural competition to design a memorial building dedicated to the 1,752 Marylanders who died in military service…

Built primarily between 1806 and 1821, the Baltimore Basilica was the first Cathedral erected in the United States. Bishop John Carroll, America's first bishop and a cousin of Charles Carroll of Declaration of Independence signing fame, led the…

Dedicated on December 4, 1870, Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church stands as a monument both to George Brown, whose wife Isabella McLanahan Brown supported the construction of the church in his memory, and the generations of Baltimoreans who have…

Step inside this grand residence and find 18-foot ceilings, a spiral staircase, and ornate chandeliers. Few Americans could have afforded the Carroll Mansion in the early 1800s when Charles Carroll, the last surviving signer of the Declaration of…

A fire erupted on the morning of February 7, 1904, in the dry goods firm of John E. Hurst & Co., on what is now Redwood Street. The blaze spread wildly out of control, consuming central Baltimore. In a panic and with few options, city engineers…

Workers laid the cornerstone of the Hampden Presbyterian Church in 1875 and dedicated the building two years later. The sturdy structure is made of Texas Limestone, named for the unincorporated town in Baltimore County where the quarry is located.…

Henry Thompson was born in 1774 in Sheffield, England and came to Baltimore in 1794, where he became a member of the Baltimore Light Dragoons. He was elected captain of this company in 1809, six years after completing a house called…

Corpus Christi Memorial Church was built in 1891 in memory of Thomas and Louisa Jenkins by their children. Their goal was to build the most exquisite church in Baltimore. Patrick Keeley, the foremost architect of Catholic churches in his day,…

The first Patterson Theater to occupy 3136 Eastern Avenue opened in 1910. In 1918, Harry Reddish purchased the building to renovate and redecorate it. He reopened it two years later and renamed it the “New Patterson”. The Patterson Theater housed…

Davidge Hall, on the University of Maryland Medical School Campus, is the oldest medical facility building in the nation. The red brick structure is named after the school's founder and first dean, John Beale Davidge. It was designed by French…

The Duchess of Windsor Museum is located in the basement of an 1885 rowhouse designed by architect John Appleton Wilson. The museum opened in 2005 after owners Phil Baty and Ron Peltzer renovated the house, where they also live. The museum houses a…

The Eubie Blake Blake Cultural Center has owned and operated from a historic building at 847 N. Howard Street since 2000, but the history of the organization dates back to to the 1960s. In the late 1960s, a group of Baltimoreans organized the…

The Appold- Faust Brothers Building at 307-309 West Baltimore Street is one of a handful of surviving cast-iron fronted buildings in Baltimore and one of the only structures in the city that can boast two iron facades on front and back. The…

Established in 1857, the Peabody Institute is the second-oldest conservatory in the United States and a landmark at the southeast corner of the Washington Monument. Born in 1795 in Massachusetts, George Peabody lived briefly in Washington, DC, fought…

Founded in 1824, St. James’ Episcopal Church is the nation’s second oldest African Episcopal congregation and the first Episcopal church organized by African Americans south of the Mason-Dixon line. Since 1932, the congregation has occupied a…

Tracey Clark and Ben Riddleberger purchased the 1885 gas valve building, historically known as the Chesapeake Gas Works, in 2005 to house their architectural salvage business—Housewerks. Riddleberger and Clark have since stabilized and restored the…

Established in 1888 as the Druid Hill Conservatory, the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory has grown from the original Palm House and Orchid Room to include three greenhouses, two display pavilions and outdoor gardens. In 1874, Baltimore City park…

Originally established in 1847 as the Collegiate Institute of Young Ladies, the Institute of Notre Dame High School (IND) was founded by Baltimore’s own Mother Theresa – the Blessed Mother Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger. A native of Munich,…

An avalanche of Irish immigrants hit Baltimore in the 1840s and1850s, many escaping Ireland's Great Hunger Famine of 1845-1853. Many of these immigrants settled in southwest Baltimore and promptly went to work for the vibrant Baltimore &…

Born in 1889, Lillie Mae Carroll was the seventh of eight children in her family. Her father was Methodist minister Charles Henry Carroll. In 1935, she became the leader of the Baltimore Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of…

Lietuvių Namai first opened in 1914 in three West Barre Street rowhouses. A growing population of Lithuanian immigrants, including many who attended St. Alphonsus Church nearby on Saratoga Street, soon needed a larger hall for community gatherings.…

In 1784 during the "Christmas Conference" at the Lovely Lane Meeting House in Baltimore, American Methodist was born. Surprisingly, this predated the organization of the Methodist community in England where it originated. In 1784, English…

The Maryland Art Place is a local cultural institution occupying a five-story Richardsonian Romanesque industrial building on the west side of Baltimore’s Downtown. The building on Saratoga Street was erected in 1907 as a factory for the Erlanger…

The 1833 McKim Free School building is one of Baltimore’s most important landmarks with deep roots in the city’s history and an unsurpassed 175 year record of education and social service. Founder John McKim came to Baltimore as a young man,…

With the opening of Meadow Mill in 1877, constructed during the depression of the 1870s, showed off the resilient success of the mills along the Jones Falls in Hampden and Woodberry. The building served as a show piece for owner William E. Hooper and…

Built in 1925, the eight-story tall Montgomery Ward Warehouse and Retail Store is one of nine monumental distribution centers built by the Montgomery Ward mail order company in cities around the United States. Founded by Aaron Montgomery Ward in…

Built in 1914 for Eastwick Motors, Baltimore’s first Ford dealership, 120 West North Avenue has been home to a surprising array of owners and occupants. After its days with Eastwick (a proud supporter of Amoco gasoline and its American Oil Company…

Completed in 1872 as a “Cathedral of Methodism,” the Norman-Gothic Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church was a signature achievement for the noted Baltimore architects Thomas Dixon and Charles L. Carson. It was also at first an immense…

The Superintendent’s House in Druid Hill Park dates to 1872 and was designed by architect George Frederick (who also designed City Hall). It was built using local “Butler Stone” from Baltimore County and has wonderful Gothic decorations…

The site of Peabody Heights Brewery, also home to RavenBeer, Public Works Ale, and Full Tilt Brewing, was the site of Oriole Park from 1916 to 1944. Before this, the ballpark was home to the Baltimore Terrapins of the short-lived Federal League and…

On August 14, 1814, almost exactly one month before the Battle of Baltimore and the bombing of Ft. McHenry in the War of 1812, Rembrandt Peale opened "Peale's Baltimore Museum and Gallery of Paintings" on Holliday Street in downtown…

The Shot Tower, when it was built in 1828, was the tallest structure in the United States until 1846. Once there were three such towers in Baltimore; now there are only a few left in the entire world. The design of the 215-foot tall Phoenix Shot…

R. House was built on the southwest corner of the intersection of Remington Avenue and West 29th Street in 1924 as the Eastwick Motor Company garage. Up until the 1920s, most of Baltimore’s car dealerships were located in the "automobile…

Just around the corner from the busy shops and restaurants of Thames Street is the Robert Long House at 812 South Ann Street, the very image of a handsome eighteenth century colonial residence and one of the oldest homes in Baltimore. However, this…

Stretching along Calvert Street between Madison and Monument Streets, stands a massive Italianate palace, built for the Society of Jesus, a Catholic religious order. Decorating the facade are arched windows with elaborate moldings, and a heavy…

The Episcopalian congregation of Saint John's Church has worshiped together on the same site in Waverly since 1843. At that time the area was the small village of Huntingdon, Maryland: a collection of about seventeen large estates, and the more…

On June 16, 1808, Elizabeth Bayley Seton arrived at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore on the same day that Bishop John Carroll, the first bishop in the Unites States, dedicated the seminary's newly built chapel. Elizabeth came to Baltimore…

Baltimore is a city known for its sculptures. John Quincy Adams famously toasted "Baltimore—the monumental city" during a visit in 1823. The moniker is well deserved. Baltimore possess the first monument to George Washington in the United…

The congregation at Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church began in 1787, the first African American Methodist congregation in Baltimore. By 1802, the congregants had purchased their first building on Sharp Street between Lombard and Pratt…

During World War II, the SS John W. Brown belonged to a fleet of 2,700 Liberty Ships transporting war materiel and allied troops across dangerous waters. Today, the ship is one of just two Liberty Ships still sailing and serves as a unique memorial…

In this small brick house on East Pratt Street, Mary Young Pickersgill, assisted by her mother and niece, designed and fabricated the Star-Spangled Banner. This fifteen star, fifteen stripe flag flew over the ramparts of Fort McHenry while it was…

Originally known as Druid Mill, Union Mill was built between 1865 and 1872. At the time, it was the largest cotton duck mill in the United States. A unique feature of the mill's construction is the use of locally quarried stone. The other mills…

The Walters Art Museum, so named for William Walters and his son Henry, began as a private art collection. Born in 1819, William was the first of eight children. At age 21 he moved to Baltimore and entered the wholesale liquor trade. He prospered in…

First established in the mid to late 1700s, the Whitehall Grist Mill is a legacy of Baltimore’s early growth as a major center for flour production. In 1839, the mill’s owners converted the facility into a cotton mill weaving the cotton…

9 North Front Street is the former residence of Thorowgood Smith, a successful merchant and Baltimore’s second mayor. Built around 1790, the Federal style residence served as Smith’s home between 1802 and 1804. The federal style of architecture…