Clifton Mansion is a Baltimore treasure located in the National Historic District of Clifton Park. The mansion was originally built as a Georgian style home by a captain in the War of 1812, Henry Thompson. Famed philanthropist Johns Hopkins later purchased the mansion and turned it into an Italian villa. The stunning home consists of an eighty-foot tower that offers a view of Baltimore and a wraparound porch covering three sides of the house. Civic Works of Baltimore now uses Clifton Mansion as its headquarters and it is open to tour and rent for events.
Backstory and Context
For twelve years, Hopkins worked on expanding the Georgian mansion into an Italian-style villa that would serve as his summer residence. This expansion included the now-famous eighty-foot tower that offers a stunning view of the city of Baltimore, a black walnut grand staircase located in the entrance consisting of marble flooring, and hand-painted walls and ceilings. After Hopkins' death, Clifton Mansion fell into the hands of nearby Johns Hopkins University until the City of Baltimore purchased it in 1895.2
Since then, Clifton Mansion has been used by the Department of Recreation and Parks and by a golf course. The various usages took its toll on Clifton Mansion and it slowly fell into a state of disrepair. Today, the Mansion is serving as the headquarters for Civic Works' community service programs. Civic Works is now in charge of the upkeep of the historic home, and they undertook an extensive renovation in partnership with the nonprofit Friends of Clifton Mansion. In addition to being available to tour, Clifton Mansion can be rented for weddings, corporate events, and other special occasions.3
2. Clifton Mansion & Civic Works. Baltimore Museums. Accessed August 11, 2019. http://www.baltimoremuseums.org/member-list/clifton-mansion-civic-works/.
3. Clifton Mansion. Civic Works. Accessed August 11, 2019. https://civicworks.com/clifton-mansion/.