704 Cathedral Street

Baltimore, Maryland

Built circa 1855, for William Hamilton Graham (1823-1885) and his wife, Isabel Brown (1827-1856). Mrs Graham's grandfather founded the banking firm Alexander Brown & Sons, and her father who succeeded him was reckoned the wealthiest man of his era in Baltimore. Their brownstone mansion was designed by Joseph F. Kemp. In 1860, Graham was living here with his widowed mother-in-law, Mrs Isabella Brown. After Graham died in 1885, he left his home to his brother-in-law, George Stewart Brown, who lived next door at No. 712. George died just five years later (1890) and willed the house to his only child, Alexander Brown. "Allie" however was happily ensconced next door and in 1894 sold the mansion. By 1918, it was divided into apartments - retaining many of its original interior features - with a swimming pool added in the basement.... 

This house is best associated with...

William Hamilton Graham

William H. Graham, of Brown & Sons, Bankers, of Baltimore


George Stewart Brown

Brigadier-General George S. Brown, of Brown & Sons, Bankers, of Baltimore


Between 1933 and 1935, an apartment on its 3rd floor gained some notoriety as the home of journalist H.L. Mencken. After his wife died in 1935, it became "too full of reminders" and he moved back to Hollins Street, taking his cook and housecleaner back with him. From 1937, it was owned by several different commercial properties. In 2011, the city purchased the Graham House for $400,000 from Laurence Glass who'd owned it since 1976. It was then adapted to use as an annex to the Baltimore School for the Arts, as it remains. 

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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 29/04/2020 and last updated on 29/04/2020.
Image (cropped) photograph by Eli Pousson, for Baltimore Heritage


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