BNHA H.L. Mencken House


Baltimore City Landmark

National Historic Landmark

National Register of Historic Places

Interpretive Framework

Shaping a Monumental City: The City’s Growth in the 20th Century

Resource Type

Points of Interest

1524 Hollins St

Baltimore, Maryland 21223

This three-story, Italianate rowhouse on Hollins Street was the long-time home of Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken. Mencken was a journalist, literary critic, magazine editor, authority on American linguistics, amateur musician, and essayist. Nicknamed the “Sage of Baltimore,” Mencken gained national fame as a columnist for the Baltimore Sun.

The house was built around 1880; he lived in the house for most of his lifetime from 1883 until his death in 1956. The house was designated as a Baltimore City Landmark in 1975. In 1983, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Mencken’s house is chiefly significant due to its association with Mencken’s life and work.  Architecturally, the house is significant as a relatively unaltered example of the typical brick-front, marble-trimmed three-story rowhouse for which Baltimore is famous. It is also part of an unbroken row facing Union Square, one of the few 19th-century residential squares still retaining its original character.

The Baltimore National Heritage Area has entered into a lease agreement with the City of Baltimore to assume stewardship of the house. After renovations, the house will serve as a museum and as offices for the heritage area.