August 1, 2017

Pleasants Pennington: Then and Now

A few weeks ago, I posted about a stunning house in Baltimore and while I was researching its history, I came across the architect: Hall Pleasants Pennington. His father was Josias Pennington, a well-known architect in Baltimore, and he’s listed on the “Dead Architects” section of the Baltimore Architecture Foundation’s website. But there is scant information about Pleasants. So I am looking.IMG_3701

Pleasants practiced in Baltimore with his father, but after his father’s retirement, moved to New York and worked there for years. He was a society favourite and worked on a number of residential projects with Dorothy Draper. He also designed several apartment buildings in NYC, including at least one on Central Park.IMG_3463x

Of course, the one book I found – a catalogue of his works as Pennington & Lewis – was in Montreal. Luckily, I happened to be headed there a few days later, so, I made an appointment with the Canadian Center for Architecture to see the book. As my friend AD Aesthete said: “Pennington was a wonderful architect, too little known. Not great, but wonderful.”

And as I’ve delved into his Baltimore area projects, I’ve discovered that AD is right – he is wonderful! In his early years working with his father, he worked on several municipal projects and a few residential projects. I’ve been able to find some of those which are still standing, and archival images of those which aren’t. Below are the images from the 1920’s and then from now.

Baltimore City Fire Department Headquarters
ThenFire Dept


Baltimore County Courthouse
ThenTowson Courthouse

Now – Pennington designed the wings which were added in the 1920’sIMG_3615

Druid Hill Park Bath House 
ThenDruid Hill


Belmont Manor Pool House

Now – I have a visit planned here later in August.
A friend did some architectural work at this house and is looking for the plans. image

Long Crandon
Thenlong crandonx

Now. I took a ton of pictures of this house and will write about it soon. IMG_3749IMG_3715

Kernewood, about which I wrote last month. ThenKernewood 2


Thenkernewood lr






ThenKernewood 1


Here are a few of Pennington’s Baltimore area buildings which no longer exist, unfortunately.

The Baltimore Municipal Stadium.
Interestingly, the urns at the corners of the building are in someone’s front yard near me!Baltimore Muni Stadium 1

The Broening BoathouseBroening Boathouse

The Police Department HeadquartersPolice HQ 1

Here’s another little piece about Pennington from the well-loved blog, Half Pudding, Half Sauce. As I mentioned, watch for a post about Long Crandon, which I visited on a beautiful late afternoon in July.


  1. Such a joy to browse those classically-designed houses.

  2. Love your posts. Great generation of architects.

  3. Love Kernewood. Has it been sold yet?

  4. amazingly wonderful..loved the befores and afters...such classic design


  5. Love the police department headquarters! And the pool house.

  6. Awesome stuff! Always something Pleasant here! *wink*

  7. Long Crandon was featured in the December, 1925 issue of THE ARCHITECT; the 6 page spread features the first floor plan as well as exterior and interior photos.

  8. Thanks! Have been trying to find a copy of it! If you have a copy, can you scan and send? Pigtowndesign at juno dot com


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