An Italianate Beauty in Baltimore

Touring 105 W. Monument St. in Baltimore's Mount Vernon

I recently had a chance to poke around 105 W. Monument Street or the Albert House, later the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland headquarters and now home to Agora Inc.’s Oxford Club. This huge Italianate brownstone has aged well and thanks to the careful restoration efforts of it’s most recent owners; it should continue to age gracefully. I got really sucked in by this one and was able to put together (I hope) a pretty accurate timeline with some interesting facts and a bit of lore.

1859

Designed by Architect Louis L. Long for William/Augustus H. Albert. Long’s best known work in Baltimore is St. Ignatius Church and Loyola College, 1853-56.

It is said by real-estate men to be one of the finest town houses in the city.
— Baltimore Sun Article, February 12, 1936.

1861-1865

Rumored to have housed horses during the Civil War.

1867

The Albert house was converted to the Mount Vernon Hotel with alterations/additions designed by Civil Engineer and Architect, John E. Ellicott. The additions included a connection to a house on Park Avenue and a large mansard roof to add another story. All of these additions were undone in 1902 by architects Parker & Thomas of Baltimore and Boston.

1902

According to a Baltimore Sun article from February 12th, 1936, the property was purchased by Waldo E. Newcomer Esq. at a price believed to be over $100,000. Newcomer added a back porch, Tiffany stained glass windows and walnut paneling. 

A story about the sale of 105 W. Monument in The Baltimore Sun, morning edition on February 12th, 1936.

1936 

According to the same Sun article, the property was sold to The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. The church installed an alter in the west parlor with a small door in the paneling of the south side of the room that was used to get to the Bishop’s office. Supposedly the Bishop’s ring was left in the building but Is now lost. The home housed the Diocese headquarters into the 1980’s.

1989

The Episcopal Diocese put the property up for sale, asking $1.25 million.

1991

Two of the original three panes of Tiffany glass were removed and sold by the Episcopal Diocese at Christie’s New York for $517,000, more than double their estimated value making the panes the most expensive Tiffany glass sold at auction at the time. The auction winner was the owner of 84 Lumber. The glass is now in a ballroom at a ski resort in Pennsylvania. There is still 1 pane of Tiffany glass in 105, but it’s cracked.

1994

105 W. Monument is the second building purchased and restored as Part of The Agora Company’s ever expanding portfolio of Mt. Vernon Buildings. Agora purchased the property for $350,000, less than a third of the original asking price. Agora now owns 12 buildings in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere area, accommodating roughly 900 employees.