Homewood

Homewood

Homewood, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the nation’s best-surviving examples of Federal-period Palladian architecture. Since its original occupancy in 1801, the house has been used as a private residence, a boys’ school, a university faculty club, an administration building, and a public museum. With each of its varied usages, Homewood has accumulated histories that speak to the development of the American republic, the city of Baltimore, and the Johns Hopkins University.

Homewood was built from 1801-06 for Charles Carroll, Jr., the only son of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The elder Carroll financed the project as a wedding gift to his son upon his marriage to Harriet Chew of Philadelphia. The young couple and their five children used the house as their country home in the first quarter of the 19th century. During this same period, at least 25 enslaved individuals lived and labored at Homewood, including William and Becky Ross and their two children, and Izadod and Cis Conner and six of their 13 children.

The home remained in the Carroll family until 1838, when it was sold to William Wyman, a wealthy Baltimore merchant, who let the house to a series of tenants before eventually renting the mansion to the Country Day School for Boys, the predecessor of present-day Gilman School.

At the turn of the 20th century, Johns Hopkins University trustees were able to move the burgeoning university from downtown Baltimore to the site of the former Homewood estate. The university took the house’s moniker as the name of its new campus and used the historic structure as the architectural inspiration for subsequent buildings. Through the years, the university repurposed Homewood to serve as a faculty club, graduate student housing, and administrative offices. Homewood opened as a permanent museum in 1987.