651-655, Lexington St., W., Baltimore, Baltimore City
This range of eight 3 ½-story dwellings is Baltimore’s last remaining example of early 19th century townhouses. In style, they represent an important phase in the evolution of the rowhouse in the great Eastern cities, for they illustrate the transition between the Federal and the early Greek Revival periods. One of the buildings---655 W. Lexington---remains unaltered. Its exterior is brick laid in common bond with a stone belt course at the water table. Window sills and rectangular cornices above each window are also stone and there is a wooden dentiled cornice at the roof line. Windows are all double hung, each with 6/6 lights. They are evenly spaced, three to a story (two on the left of the front doorway). Two dormer windows, are also double hung and topped with pointed pediments. The brick chimney is on the east.
The structures are attributed to William F. Small, at that time employed in the architectural office of Benjamin H. Latrobe, and they display the Latrobe influence in their dignity, plain surfaces, and bold composition. Small designed many prominent Baltimore buildings, including McKim’s School, the Athenaeum, Barnum’s Hotel, the Archibishop’s Residence to the east of Benjamin Latrobe’s cathedral, several houses, and numerous city schools. Pascault Row is an important early 19th century terrace. The demolition of Robert Mills’ contemporary Waterloo Row makes this contemporary group of buildings even more valuable as a document in the development of American urban architecture.