Anthony O. James
Glyndon Historic District
Reisterstown, Baltimore County
Glyndon is a turn-of-the-20th-century community northeast of Reisterstown, Maryland, that began as a summer resort. The pre World War I community follows T shape. The stem of the T is Central Avenue, the principal north-south street to which cross streets adjoin (Chastworth and Glyndon Avenues). The cross bar, Butler Avenue, connects Glyndon with Reisterstown and major county thoroughfares. The district is residential except for a small business district located at the intersection of Butler Road and the Western Maryland Railway tracks. The Emory Grove Campground on the northern boundary is occupied in the summer. Temperance Park at the northeastern section was a second religious summer community which is now occupied by full-time residents. A decided architectural homogeneity exists in Glyndon, particularly within the area of Central, Chatsworth, and Glyndon Avenues, representing vernacular examples of late 19th century styles. These cottages are typically frame, 2 ½-stories high, with one or occasionally two story front porches. Houses with three symmetrical bays have their attic levels defined with a simple gable, a central gabled tower form, or are un-gabled. In numerous instances, two-bay gabled façades face the street. These are, in addition, several variations of the L plan having a gabled wing perpendicular to the street and wing parallel to the street, with a porch infilling the angle. In most of the examples the porches are ornamented with jigsawn detailing, which in several examples, includes the porch supports, with handsome open-work design as well as corner brackets and balustrades. The use of pointed-arched windows with wide trim is also unusually prevalent in Glyndon. These windows, often paired, are generally hung with louvered blinds cut to fit the triangular profile. Completing the spectrum of typical Glyndon architecture are several excellent examples of Shingle Style houses which are particularly interesting with their long sweeping gambrel roof forms and Georgian Revival detailing.
Glyndon began when in 1868 a group of Methodists established a campground close to the Western Maryland Railroad tracks. The group, called the Emory Grove Camp Meeting Association, began evangelical meetings under a large tent. People flocked to the summer services, remaining for extended periods and living in tents. By 1887 the popularity of the meeting had encouraged the Association to construct the 40-room Emory Grove Hotel. Gradually the tents were replaced with wooden cottages an din 1900 an open market house moved from Hanover, Pennsylvania, replaced the canvas tabernacle. By the 1920s, Emory Grove had proved enormously successful. Evangelists like Billy Sunday drew large crowds from Baltimore in addition to the summer residents. The campground encouraged the development of Glyndon as a summer resort--several devotees of Emory Grove erected their own more substantial summerhouses adjacent to the campground. Temperance Park, across Butler Road, is another example of the spirit of Methodism in Glyndon. Founded in 1887, it was the first temperance park in Maryland. Thirteen frame cottages line the south side of a green open pace originally the site of meetings devoted to prohibition. An annual service is held in Temperance Park which preserves the open space. The railroad and the camp meetings at Emory Grove opened up the area to development. Local property owners began laying out lots and streets, and constructing a hotel, town hall, and general store. Railroad and streetcar service to Glyndon coincided with the most concentrated period of the town’s growth.