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This is a past tour--for information only



Saturday, May 18, 2019

10:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M.


Catonsville is located in the southwest corner of Baltimore County and is centered along Frederick Road (Maryland Route 144), just west of Baltimore City. During the 1780s, a road was built to connect a flour mill on the Patapsco River with Baltimore. The State legislature designated it as the Frederick Turnpike, known today as MD Route 144 or Frederick Road. Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence, owned land next to the road, and he instructed his son-in-law, Richard Caton, to develop it. A house for the Catons, called “Castle Thunder,” was built in 1787. The surrounding area was called “Catonville” until the 1830s, when the spelling was changed to “Catonsville.” The village was located 7 miles west of Baltimore City and was at the top of a broad ridge with an altitude of more than 500 feet above the city. Beyond the village, there was a steep descent into the Patapsco River Valley. This made Catonsville an ideal stopping point for those traveling west from Baltimore by wagons and stagecoaches. The village’s location attracted two types of people who made up the community. The first group were the businessmen and artisans who created a small business strip along the turnpike. Here one could find taverns, blacksmiths, wagon repair shops as well as general stores to serve the local farmers and residents. The other group that settled Catonsville was the Baltimore elite. The pleasant surroundings and fresh air attracted the wealthy Baltimoreans to build mansions that were occupied only in the summer in order to escape the heat of the city. Eventually, some families began to stay all year with the addition of the horse-car line that was established in 1862, and replaced in the 1890s by an electric trolley. In 1884, the Catonsville Short Line Railroad connected Catonsville with Baltimore. The convenience of transportation spurred development and enabled middle income families to settle into the houses that ranged in size from bungalows to large frame homes. Many of these homes are still occupied in this thriving community whose heart remains along Frederick Road. The dynamic business area includes many restaurants and music stores that attract locals and visitors alike. While Catonsville has continued to grow, it retains its small town feel, even in the midst of a major metropolitan area.


Co-Chairs: Andrea Braid, Anne Luco


Special Project: Proceeds from the Baltimore County Catonsville Tour will be used to support the restoration of the Catonsville Historical Society, which suffered extensive damage as a result of the May 27, 2018 flooding. The basement of the Society home filled with water to the rafters and the museum had 18 inches of water throughout. The rebuilding and restoring of the museum and collections are our main focus.




This 1889 German three story house with original shiplap wooden siding, 10' ceilings, and large double hung windows is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing building in the Old Catonsville Historic District. Although Victorian, the farmhouse cottage decorating style is evident throughout. Using a lot of architectural elements and shabby chic, the owners take pride in “things no one else has.” This creative, casual style lends itself to a most unusual TV shelf in the family room, corbel shelving featuring vintage luggage, hanging iron gates and windows, and a kitchen island countertop made from antique floor tile from an English church. The custom kitchen and great room featuring a cabinet filled with a vintage ironstone collection and antique linens, were designed by the owners. Please use the original brick walkway off the front porch to access the secluded garden patio, the expansive grapevine trellis, and custom outbuildings. Of particular interest to Catonsvillians will be the original Catonsville Santa house the owners purchased at auction. 



This is your opportunity to see the most elaborate Craftsman style home in Old Catonsville. Designed by noted architect Walter M. Gieske and built for tobacco dealer Hardy Gieske in 1909, the seven bedroom house has many features of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The house’s exterior has stucco on the first floor and has shingles, stucco, and English half timbers from the second floor to the roof. The original house drawings are available for viewing. The current owners have painstakingly rehabbed the house, further complimenting the architect’s original interior Mission design. The front door features original hardware and leaded glass window sidelights. The living room features folding French doors with bubble glass, original casement windows and transoms, and wooden plant shelf. The original plans noted “Conservatory” at this end of the room. All decorative radiators throughout the house have been sandblasted and painted. The kitchen has 67 been renovated while complementing the Mission style. Look for special Craftsman features throughout the house: built in china cabinet, gas light fixtures converted to electric, built in chest of drawers in the second floor hallway, and call bells for the maid. A second built in chest of drawers was made into a freestanding bureau in the master bedroom. The third floor has the maid’s bedroom, with what might be the smallest claw foot tub in Catonsville, towel rack, and bell ringer. 



Built in 1908 by Maria Louise Brinkmann for her son Walter to raise his family, Oakwood Bungalow is Maryland’s first poured concrete home. Originally sitting on more than 10 acres, the custom home was designed by noted architects Wyatt and Nolting, who were known for Federal style city and government structures. Finished in stucco, functional shutters, ornamental dentil trim, twelve Tuscan columns, and built in gutters adorn the exterior. Themed after Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, who was greatly influenced by the Famous Italian renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, the house is unique in its style. It is listed on the Baltimore County Landmarks list, and as a contributing structure in the Old Catonsville National Historic District. The home remained in the Brinkmann family until 2016. Oakwood Bungalow has been intensely preserved and features original hybrid gas-electric lighting fixtures, Georgia pine flooring, American chestnut trim and ceiling beams, leaded glass, crystal door knobs, hidden staircases, and a working servant bell system. Historical artifacts and a rich family history give this home great character and many stories. History and architecture fans will love this home. Have a good read at



This 1904 home has been meticulously renovated with today’s lifestyle in mind, yet never loses sight of the Victorian period. The owners are fortunate to have found a 1924 plat of the Oakcrest neighborhood showing the house as belonging to the Fishers. Until the 1980s, the house still had gas lighting! As you enter the front door, you step into the music parlor replete with a refurbished 1880s rosewood Knabe grand piano manufactured in Baltimore. The dining room, once the sitting parlor, has a 1905 Spinet piano that belonged to Andra’s grandmother. The custom kitchen features heart of pine countertops, a soapstone island counter, and more family antiques. The newly renovated powder room (once the butler’s pantry) features basketweave floor tile and reclaimed marble sink and stand. The mud room, back porch fireplace, pantry, and laundry room are recent additions that complement today’s busy lifestyle. The second floor features 4 children’s bedrooms and the third floor, a work in progress, a master suite with private balcony.



This historically significant Queen Anne 69 home is located in Oak Forest Park and was conveyed by the Catonsville Improvement Company to J. Carroll Ahearn in 1897. Current owners have restored the home to its former glory. The house is on the Baltimore County Landmark list and is recognized as its own historic district under the Landmark Preservation Commission. Cedar shingles installed in the 1930s were removed, revealing the original novelty siding and hounds tooth gable shingles. This Victorian lady in period colors boasts a conical turret, port-cochere, wraparound porch, four fireplaces, stained glass window, and period woodwork that was meticulously stripped of coats of white paint. Period furnishings, a bust from the old Haussner’s restaurant, collections of quadruple plate, transferware, and Imari abound. The dining room set, purchased from the estate of the previous owner, was said to have been left on the Baltimore docks. A complete set of 1927 Paul Roche etchings of Baltimore scenes hangs in the dining room. The second floor retains the Victorian appeal but with updates in keeping with today’s lifestyle. Not to be missed are the extensive mature gardens and Koi pond. 



William H. Gorman was one of the developers of Oak Forest Park, a haven for wealthy Baltimoreans to escape the summer heat. He was also brother to US Senator Arthur Pue Gorman and President of the Cumberland Coal Company of Baltimore. This 1906 Georgian Revival’s plans were by Joseph Evans Sperry. Although the house was allegedly built as a wedding present for daughter Elizabeth Gorman, for many years the house was leased to Dr. John Elder, inventor and Treasurer of the Crown Cork and Seal Company. Sitting on 1.84 acres, the house with grand two story foyer and exquisite crystal chandelier, features 5 bedrooms, 3½ baths, and a newly remodeled kitchen with Calacatta Laza countertops. Of particular interest is the 1918 vase made from a shell casing used in WWI by the American Expeditionary Forces, the seafarer’s sideboard in the dining room, and Rizzi “Same Wind Blows Around the World” in the kitchen. 



505 Patleigh Road, Catonsville 21228. This 1970 mid-century modern home was designed by Marks and Cooke, now doing business as Marks Thomas Architects, and is one of a very few such homes in Catonsville. The house sits on a dramatic wooded lot abutting the Patapsco State Park. Patrick Miller is only the second owner. Architiculated by hand laid stone, the home has mortar free slope features. The house retains the original kitchen, unique doors, original built ins and deco sconces in the master bedroom, and laundry chutes hidden by artwork mounted on hinges to allow access to the chutes. The second floor balcony has windows where one would not expect lending to the feeling of being in the woods. The original tiled bathroom features Douglas-fir slat ceilings. A potter’s studio was maintained in what now is the bike room. The antique walnut door with blue crystal sunburst came from an antique shop. Upon exiting the bike room, follow the path through pachysandra, ferns, and rhododendron, to an open deck surrounded by oak, poplar, and beech trees. 



The historic Hilton mansion is an early 20th century Georgian Revival style mansion created from a stone farmhouse built about 1825 overlooking the Patapsco River valley. The reconstruction was designed by Baltimore architect Edward L. Palmer, Jr. in 1917. The main house is five bays in length, two and a half stories above a high ground floor with a gambrel roof. In 1962 Baltimore County Public Schools purchased the property to establish Catonsville Community College, which later joined Dundalk and Essex Community Colleges to become the Community College of Baltimore County. A 6 million dollar renovation was recently completed to the mansion which has been renamed the Hilton Center. Modern amenities have been added so the space can be used for offices and classrooms yet the historical charm remains. Begin your tour as you enter through the “back” door onto the main level. The polished black and white marble floors are original. The entire space is filled with light from the many windows. The grand staircase gracefully winds its way up to the fourth floor. Take your time exploring the many rooms and be sure to note the details of the trims, moldings and fireplaces in each room. Of special interest is the mahogany paneled room on the second floor, originally the mansion’s formal dining room. The paneling is original to the mansion. Be sure to step out onto the “front” porch on the second floor which was the original guest entryway, and enjoy the view of the Patapsco Valley and Baltimore skyline.


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