Mount Clare is the oldest Colonial-era structure in Baltimore, Maryland. The Georgian style plantation house exhibits a somewhat altered five-part plan. It was built on a Carroll family plantation beginning in 1763 by barrister Charles Carroll, a descendant of the last Gaelic Lords of Éile in Ireland and a distant relative of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The first building on the property was built by John Henry Carroll, barrister Charles Carroll's brother, in 1754, and was probably eventually incorporated as a portion of the larger house. Charles inherited the property on John's death and began construction between 1757 and 1760. Charles built the present 2-1/2 story Georgian style central block, incorporating John's kitchen and flanking it with a wash house and an orangery. In 1768 Charles added the projecting bay and Palladian window that dominate the entry facade today. The kitchen wing was enlarged and an office wing was added for balance, resulting in a symmetrical nine-part elevation. The house was completed about 1767.
After Charles' death in 1783 his widow made further changes, connecting outbuildings and adding a greenhouse to the orangery and expanding the laundry, resulting in a complex about 360 feet long. These additions, along with other alterations, were in the more current Federal style.
The mansion left the family in 1840, and the house's flanking wings were demolished. During the American Civil War it was used as a headquarters by Union forces. After a period as a beer garden, the house and 70 acres (28 ha) were purchased by the city of Baltimore as a park.
The house features a portico on the front facade with a projecting bay above. The upper bay contains a Palladian window. The city of Baltimore built Palladian pavilions connected by hyphens on either side in 1910 as public toilets, but these do not reflect historical construction. They have since been converted to a library and a colonial-era kitchen exhibit. The house has been maintained by the National Society of Colonial Dames in Maryland since 1917.
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