Hidden Guilford Cottages

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If you don’t know where to look, you may never find the Norwood Cottages in Guilford. They are off the broad avenues, tucked away on a tree-lined, no-through street that feels more like a quaint English village than a location that is minutes from the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus, Loyola College, the College of Notre Dame, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.


Planned by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and developed by the Roland Park Company in the early 1900’s, Guilford is comprised of approximately 800 single-family homes that range in style from cottages to mansions.

The Roland Park Company placed much initial attention on the eastern, northern and southern edges of the Guilford site and took responsibility for the housing that was constructed there because they could not control the development of the areas to the east, north and south of the Guilford tract.

The Norwood cottages, on the north edge of the community, were designed by Edward L. Palmer who stated:

“The main thing about the houses in Guilford… is that they show a serious attempt on the part of the architects to design … in “good grammar.” The architecture there is more comparable to correct English than anywhere else . . . Roland Park and Guilford are now really developments that we can be proud of. They possess some splendid houses and many more that are very good. For instance, it isn’t as if Guilford were a place you could find one or two examples of good architecture—the whole place is good.”

The cottage at 4417 Norwood Road is an example of the good architecture of Guilford on a smaller scale. It’s the subtle yet graceful proportions of every room that make it feel both expansive, yet intimate. One can imagine sitting on the front porch in the 1920s calling out to neighbors across the narrow street, sipping lemonade on a late summer evening. Now glass enclosed, the porch is a wonderful multi-season room with a view.  Click to read more of this article and beautiful pics.

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