Bellona-Gittings Historic District
Baltimore, Baltimore City, Baltimore County
The Bellona-Gittings Historic District is located in a compact an internally consistent area approximately one third of which is located in southern Baltimore County and two thirds of which lies in northeastern Baltimore City. Although the district straddles two jurisdictions, it is represented by a single community organization, the Bellona-Gittings Association. The district, although slightly rectangular, is irregular in shape due to its complex pattern of streets and roadways. During the period of the district’s historical significance, which extends from 1853 to 1958, the architecture of all contributing resources includes the following styles and types: Federal Revival, Dutch Colonial, Tudor Revival, Gothic Revival, Cape Cod Revival, Colonial Revival, Split-Level, and Ranch. Although the architectural styles in the district are varied, the style that is most predominant is Federal Revival. Properties which contribute to the significance of the district include 374 residences, associated garages, and one commercial property that is a one-story brick store building used for a neighborhood pharmacy and wine store. The architecture of this building harmonizes with the surrounding buildings. Architects or architectural firms known to have designed buildings in the district include John A. Ahlers, A.W. Coote, William H. Emory, Jr., A. Lowther Forrest, T. Worth Jamison, Jr., Ferdinand P. Kelly, Harry Michelmann, Palmer & Lamdin, Theodore Wells Pietsch, Donald Ratcliffe, M.J. Ruark, Smith & May, A.W. Smith, Joseph Stinebacker, Frederick Thomas, and Louis H. Will. Builders working in the district included A. Arnold & Sons, Harry N. France, Ormsby D. Hampson, Hoops & Lamb, Milton C. Klutch, Henry Momberger, and Henry T. Sorrel & Sons.
The Bellona-Gittings Historic District is historically significant for its association with the suburbanization of the Baltimore area in the late 19th and early-to-mid 20th centuries. It derives additional significance for the character of its architecture; it comprises a cohesive collection of well-designed buildings representing various period revival styles within a suburban setting characterized by tree-lined, curvilinear streets. The Bellona-Gittings Historic District is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad pattern of suburban development in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. The first house in Bellona-Gittings was constructed within the decade after the horse-drawn street railway was introduced to Baltimore. That type of railway became established on York Road in 1863, and was subsequently converted into a rail system that operated on electricity. This district spans several important stages in the suburban development of Baltimore, including the pre-industrial, the urban-industrial, and the metropolitan. The district owes a great deal to its access to convenient transportation--first York Road and its railway and later a paved roadway for the automobile such as Charles Street Avenue extended. The growth of Baltimore along the York Road corridor to Govans and beyond was facilitated not only by transportation but also by its accessibility to water from springs and ponds. Nearby Lake Roland was the domestic water source for the City at this time. The platting of this district also reflects the influence of Olmstedian design elements that had previously been employed in the developments of the Roland Park Company. A son of the developer of “Cedarcroft”, Philip E. Lamb, initiated the development of this district, first on the east side of Bellona Avenue and shortly thereafter, on the west side. Mr. Lamb, an attorney, established the Blenheim Realty Company to undertake the purchase, platting, and sales of lots in what is now known as Bellona-Gittings.