Stoneleigh Historic District
Baltimore, Baltimore County
Stoneleigh is a cohesive residential neighborhood in Central Baltimore County, south of Towson and nestled at the southeast corner of York Road and Hatherleigh Road. York Road, a major thoroughfare, provides access to commercial and employment centers in the surrounding county and nearby Baltimore City. The neighborhood extends east to Kenleigh Road, south to Regester Avenue, west to the grassy median along York Road, and northward to the buildings fronting both sides of Hatherleigh Road, with one northern block of Oxford Road extending north of Hatherleigh Road. The western border provides direct access to the county courthouse and government center 1 1/2 miles to the north in Towson. At the same time, a grassy median along York Road visually separates Stoneleigh from this heavily trafficked thoroughfare. The first portion of the neighborhood to be platted as Stoneleigh was landscaped with tree-lined streets and an intricate system of curvilinear roads that complemented the housing lots. This 110-acre section of Stoneleigh was platted in 1922 by the Stoneleigh Corporation, who purchased the property from Robert Brown's heirs. The heirs retained the central 20 acres of land, on which the Italianate-style Stoneleigh Villa then stood. Stoneleigh was enlarged in 1954, after the villa was demolished and the large square-shaped lot subdivided as Blocks 23, 24, and 25 of Stoneleigh. The curvilinear street plan continued, with the added feature of cul-de-sacs. In 1986, the Stoneleigh Community Association officially recognized the 7200 block of Oxford Road as part of the neighborhood. This portion of the road, containing 12 properties, developed contemporaneously to Stoneleigh and features similar architectural designs and forms. With the addition of the central portion and the 7200 block of Oxford Road, the Stoneleigh Historic District occupies approximately 133 acres. Stoneleigh is defined by a variety of 20th century architectural styles and building types ranging from early-20th century high style to suburban interpretations of the elaborate styles traditionally erected decades earlier. Primarily, construction of the domestic buildings in Stoneleigh extends from the 1920s to infill housing of the mid 1980s. Architectural styles represented in Stoneleigh were often high-styles suburban examples of the Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, French Revival, Spanish Mission Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Craftsman. Many of the properties are augmented by freestanding or attached garages and sheds. The community is primarily composed of single-family dwellings, supported along the borders by a commercial enclave, a church and parsonage, and a school. In the northeast section of the neighborhood is the community pool. The buildings, particularly the single-family dwellings, are buffered from the public streets by sidewalks and grassy medians.
Stoneleigh is an excellent example of a type of residential subdivision that emerged in the second quarter of the 20th century to support the burgeoning population of the Baltimore metropolitan area. Benefiting from the advances of the streetcar and the automobile, Stoneleigh developed primarily between 1922 and 1954. Stoneleigh Historic District is significant as a planned community which developed to meet the housing needs of the expanding middle and upper-middle-class suburban population of Baltimore in the second quarter of the 20th century. This streetcar suburb as served in the early 1920s by the United Railways and Electric Company, which connected Stoneleigh to City Hall in Baltimore via York Road. The increasing acceptance of the automobile and the needs for efficient transportation routes into Baltimore City also impacted Stoneleigh with 59% of residents owning cars in 1929. Consequently, Stoneleigh was firmly established as a commuting suburb of Baltimore by 1953. Despite numerous restrictive covenants, the Stoneleigh Corporation allowed for the construction of a single commercial enclave along York Road in 1924. Known as the Stoneleigh Community Building, the Tudor Revival-style commercial building provided commercial services for the local residents. The First and Saint Stephens Church and parsonage, also constructed in the 1920s, lie along York Road to the north of the shopping center. By 1930, growth of the neighborhood and surrounding communities prompted the need for a local school. The Stoneleigh Elementary School (formerly the Stoneleigh Public School) is located on Pemberton Road in the northeast corner of the neighborhood. The Stoneleigh Club, incorporated in 1925, opened the community swimming pool, which became the focal point of recreation activities in the neighborhood. Stoneleigh derives additional significance for its substantial concentration of early-20th century domestic architecture, representing numerous revival styles popular during the period.