History and Architecture
A Grand Victorian Town home built circa 1880 by one of the wealthiest men in Baltimore at the time. The 10,000+ square foot four-floored home has had a varied past, from being the site of political maneuvering at the highest levels prior to World War I to being cut up into 12 units during World War II.
Built in 1880, this home was owned by J. Kemp Bartlett, the senior law partner of William Jennings Bryant, Democratic presidential candidate in 1896, 1900, 1904 and 1908. In 1912 Bryant was still the head of the Democratic party but decided not to run, yet again. That year the Democratic National Convention was held in Baltimore's 5th Regiment Armory, a few blocks away. At about the time the convention became deadlocked (after 23 ballots), Bryant, who until that time had been publicly supporting Champ Clark from New York learned that Teddy Roosevelt had changed his mind and decided to run for president after all. Clark's platform was not that different from TR's and Bryant realized the game had changed completely. He caused a recess to be called and invited the "kingmakers" here, away from the crowds, to announce he had decided Clark was un-electable and, with TR in the race, there was a very good change Taft would win re-election if Clark was their nominee. Bryant realized that the person who stood the best chance of winning for the Democrats was Woodrow Wilson, a completely new face with a completely new platform. Over the next several days this house was the center of the deal making that gave Woodrow Wilson the nomination (after 23 more ballots) and subsequently the Presidency. He gave an informal acceptance speech from the governor's summer home in New Jersey (he had not even attended the convention) and then came to Baltimore and repeated it formally to a much bigger crowd from the 2nd floor balcony of this house.
The area declined during significantly the Depression and during WWII the house was cut up into 12 apartments. Fortunately, many of the original details were preserved.
The hosts' restoration of this elegant historic home was the subject of a lengthy article in the August 8, 2004 edition of the Baltimore Sun. Click here for a transcript of that article.
The host's unusual military and homeland security career was the subject of a large article in the December 8, 2002 edition of the Providence Journal. More recently, his pioneering work bringing the maritime world into the space age was the subject of a 2 page write up in the 20 Jan 2014 issue of Space News, the bible of the Space industry.
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