BNHA Johns Hopkins University

Interpretive Framework

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

Star Attractions

Charles Street Byway

Resource Type

Points of Interest

3400 N Charles St

Baltimore, Maryland 21218

Johns Hopkins University, located at 3200 North Charles Street, is one of America’s preeminent educational institutions. It was founded by Johns Hopkins (1795-1873), a Quaker and son of Samuel Hopkins, a prosperous tobacco farmer in nearby Anne Arundel County. Johns became the leading financier in the city and the largest stockholder of the B&O Railroad during his lifetime. He established both the university and the hospital that were named after him.

Johns Hopkins University is based on the German post-secondary education model. Established as America’s first research university, the university’s goal was to advance “the state of human knowledge generally, through research and scholarship.”

Originally located downtown, the university needed space to expand and worked to acquire a larger piece of land over a period of 12 years. In 1902, 179 acres at the Homewood Estate, formerly owned by the Carroll family, was accepted by the university’s trustees with the stipulation that no fewer than 30 acres of the donated property would be given to the city as parkland. The trustees also desired a master plan for the development of the campus so that the architectural style and character of the landscape would be maintained as the university grew. The university began construction on the campus in 1908, and Gilman Hall, the university’s first major academic building, was dedicated in 1915. In was designed in the Federal style of the Homewood House, one of the most important Federal Style houses in the United States. The Homewood House was restored and remains a museum on the campus today.