Historic Structures

1892 Building Changes Garret-Jacobs Mansion Baltimore Maryland

In 1892 substantial alterations were decided upon, as evidenced by a large but confusing correspondence in the Garrett Papers. Many letters from Mrs. Garrett show the personal role she took in proposing architectural changes and embellishments which Stanford White was supposed to implement. The entrance hall (not the vestibule) bulked large in these new plans and this and the main staircase probably took on their present appearance at that time. Alteration of the hall windows seems also to have affected the facade of the house and there were alterations to the extent of $15,000 in the ballroom and library.

Apparently part of the staircase arcade and the gallery surrounding the entrance hall date from 1892-93. The correspondence advances so many alternative plans for these matters that it is difficult to make out how much had been there originally and just what was changed or added. It is specific on some questions, such as a "new carved wainscot of English oak around the staircase wall" (to be made by Herter Brothers).

Mrs. Garrett had had trouble with smoke from the fireplace in the hall and her complaints seem to have resulted in a rebuilt chimney and possibly a new fireplace surround. Also considerable changes were made in the siting, size, and appearance of the entrance hall windows. Gemhardt did some work on these and the Tiffany windows were reworked in new dimensions.

Other minor alterations to the house included new "plastering on expanded wire," and Dennis & Co. were brought in as paper hangers.