Patterson Park is a recreation area in Baltimore located in a historical neighborhood of the same name. They were named for notable businessman William Patterson (1752-1835). Patterson, originally from County Donegal in Ireland, was a gunrunner during the American Revolution and one of the founders of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Backstory and Context
Part of Patterson Park, the high ground in the northwest corner known as Hampstead Hill, was a defensive position for the US against British ground forces during the Battle of Baltimore. Today, a pagoda sits atop Hampstead Hill. It was designed by Charles H. Latrobe and built in 1891. The park also features a monument to General Casimir Pulaski. Pulaski was a Polish nobleman and military commander that traveled to the United States to participate in the American Revolutionary War. Notably, he saved George Washington’s life.
People began building homes and moving to Patterson Park during the mid-19th and early 20th century when the population of Baltimore began to grow following the Civil War. William Patterson owned most of the land that constitutes the Patterson Park neighborhood. The rowhouses typical of the first homes in Patterson Park were built in the Renaissance Revival, also called Italianate, style.
The neighborhood began to decline in the latter half of the twentieth century, experiencing rapid decline when nearby public housing estates shut down, leaving the residents of those buildings desperate for a place to stay. The Patterson Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA) was found in 1986 as the Baltimore-Linwood Neighborhood Association for the purpose of encouraging residents to participate in community events. These include block clean-ups, tree and flower plantings, holiday parties, potlucks, home tours, and block parties, all organized by the PPNA. The PPNA also has a Greening Committee that hosts programs to educate the public on how to reduce their energy consumption.