Baltimore, Baltimore City
Located atop a ridge above the Jones Falls valley, center of Baltimore’s prominent 19th-century cotton textile industry, Brick Hill is a small neighborhood of 2 and 2 ½-story masonry duplexes constructed ca. 1877 to house workers in the nearby Meadow Mill of the Woodberry Manufacturing Company. All but one of the eleven duplexes are constructed of brick, hence the four-acre enclave’s traditional name; the other dwelling is built of stone. All are gable roofed, with four-bay-wide façades oriented to the three short, narrow streets which form the neighborhood. Two small 2-story frame houses are also included in the district. The neighborhood exhibits a high level of integrity; the historic buildings retain the majority of their original fabric and only one non-contributing structure exists within the district boundary.
Brick Hill is significant for its association with the 19th century textile industry in the Jones Falls valley of Baltimore. Comprising an isolated enclave of well-preserved workers’ houses which served the Woodberry Manufacturing Company’s Meadow Mill, Brick Hill exemplifies the paternalistic system which characterized relations between management and labor in Baltimore’s textile industry during the period when the Jones Falls valley mills produced between 70-90% of the nation’s total output of cotton duck and related products. Throughout its development from the mid-1840s to the peak of production in the last quarter of the 19th century, the Baltimore textile industry emphasized the "Rhode Island" system of organization, involving entire families in the labor force and providing numerous social amenities for workers, among them substantial housing at nominal cost. The dwellings in Brick Hill, solidly built masonry duplexes situated on lots large enough to accommodate a kitchen garden, typify the housing provided for workers during the industry’s second phase of expansion in the 1870s.