MHT File Photo
Eutaw-Madison Apartment House Historic District
2502 & 2525, Eutaw Pl & 2601 Madison Ave., Baltimore, Baltimore City
The Eutaw-Madison Apartment House Historic District comprises a group of three multi-story apartment buildings built in the first quarter of the 20th century. The buildings are located on the northern edge of a neighborhood of late 19th and early 20th century brick rowhouses. Their large scale, multi-family function, and location overlooking Druid Hill Park distinguish these buildings from other resources in the Eutaw-Madison area. Their exteriors exemplify the eclectic combination of elements from various styles which characterized the architecture of Baltimore’s fashionable residential neighborhoods of the period; cast stone and pressed metal detailing enliven the masonry façades. Originally designed to appeal to a highly affluent class of residents, the interiors feature unusually large-sized apartment units and luxurious appointments. Apartments typically feature high ceilings and multiple spacious rooms; in some, the total floor area exceeds that of a comparable townhouse of the period. Decorative interior detailing includes plaster molding and trim, inlaid hardwood floors, and gas fireplaces with stone mantels. While the floor plans of some of the units have been altered, much of the decorative detailing remains intact. Three buildings comprise the district: The Esplanade is a 9-story apartment building built in 1912 at 2525 Eutaw Place. It is a flat-roofed structure built in an "H" plan with exterior walls of textured brown brick embellished with a wealth of cast-stone ornament, including columns and capitals, balusters and railings, spandrels, lintels, garlands and medallions, and latticework. A large columned and balustraded entrance portico highlights the Eutaw Place façade. On the interior, the main lobby features variegated marble veneer walls with mosaic trim. Directly opposite the Esplanade at 2502 Eutaw Place stands the Emersonian, an 8-story building constructed in 1915 of stuccoed masonry. The building has a flat roof with bracketed cornices supporting tile-roofed overhangs on the northeast (main) and southwest façades. Recessed porches with iron-railed balconies appear on all sides of the building, at all levels above the second floor. The third building in the district, Temple Gardens, was built in 1926 at 2601 Madison Avenue, opposite the main gate of Druid Hill Park. The building is 14 stories high; its red-brick exterior incorporates elements of Georgian, Neoclassical, and Romanesque styles.
The Eutaw-Madison Apartment House Historic District draws significance from two sources. First, the buildings are architecturally significant as examples of the type of residence which was preferred by well-to-do urbanites during the first quarter of the 20th century. During the period when these buildings were erected, high-rise apartments were coming into fashion as an attractive alternative to single-family houses. Apartments such as those in the Eutaw-Madison buildings often exceeded comparable townhouses in cost as well as in floor area. The elaborate Renaissance-eclectic detailing of the Eutaw-Madison Apartment Houses, both on their exteriors and in their opulent interior spaces, makes an unmistakable statement about the achievements and aspirations of the residents. The large scale of these buildings sets them apart from the two- and three-story, late 19th century rowhouses which characterize the majority of the Eutaw-Madison neighborhood. Their siting reflects the practice, seen elsewhere in Baltimore in the early 20th century, of locating the new high-rise apartment buildings overlooking large, open landscaped spaces; they command a highly desirable location atop a hill overlooking a picturesquely landscaped park and lake to the north, with a splendid view of the city to the south. The district derives additional significance from its association with the development of Baltimore’s Jewish community, and with prominent figures in the 20th century commercial history of the city. The Eutaw-Madison neighborhood became a center of the Jewish community of Baltimore, beginning in the mid 19th century. By the first quarter of the 20th century, the neighborhood was fully established as an enclave of middle- and upper-class Jewish merchants and professionals. Many of these individuals took apartments in the buildings which comprise the district; the list of residents includes names which continue to be prominent in the mercantile affairs of Baltimore, such as Hochschild, Hamburger, Hutzler, Hecht, Katz, and Hess, all of whose enterprises flourished during the period of their founders’ residence at Eutaw-Madison.