Park Circle Historic District, Baltimore, MD
Park Circle Historic District, Baltimore, MD



United States

Park Circle Historic District

Located immediately northwest of the Druid Hill Park, the Park Circle neighborhood has its origins in the establishment of the Baltimore and Reisterstown Turnpike in the 1800s. The turnpike followed the current route of Pennsylvania Avenue and Reisterstown Road from Franklin Street in Baltimore City to Reisterstown. The area experienced little residential development prior to the twentieth century, but commencing in the early 1900s, sizable estates along Park Heights Avenue were subdivided into building lots allowing for the construction of the neighborhood’s first duplexes. Between 1900 and 1912, the number of houses increased from fewer than 50 to more than 500, many of them row houses. During this period and through the 1960s, the neighborhood became an important home to the city’s Jewish community, as families of Eastern European immigrants moved from East Baltimore to settle along Park Heights Avenue. The Sharrei Zion Synagogue and the Talmudical Academy were significant landmarks in the area in the mid-twentieth century but have since been relocated.   

The Park Circle Historic District is primarily a residential area roughly bounded by Shirley Avenue to the north, the intersection of Park Avenue and Reisterstown Road to the south, Cottage Avenue to the east, and railroad tracks on the west. Much of the neighborhood is laid out on a rigid, rectilinear street grid, which gives way to curvilinear streets southeast of Park Heights Avenue. The duplexes are largely made of tan brick, with front lawns and even larger rear plots. The row houses are predominantly made of red brick with tiled mansard roofs, nearly all of them set back from the street allowing for modest, elevated front lawns, while the rear lawns abut cement alleyways that dissect each block. Several lots between Park Heights Avenue and Cottage Avenue have been converted for use as recreational space or small neighborhood parks, including Keyworth Avenue Park and Cottage Avenue Park. The Park Circle Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.


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