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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 8, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 33
Homewood privy, to be beneficiary of Md. House, Garden Pilgrimage

Homewood's privy documented in a recent Historic American Buildings Survey.

On Saturday, May 13, some of the most beautiful private residences, gardens and public buildings in North Baltimore City and neighboring Woodbrook will be open to the public as part of the 69th annual Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage, whose primary purpose is to help preserve and restore architecturally and historically significant properties in Maryland. Among the destinations are the university's Homewood House Museum — built as a summer residence in 1802 for Charles Carroll Jr. — and its privy, which has been chosen as this year's preservation project to be funded through the day's proceeds.

Although there were originally many buildings on the Homewood property, only two contemporary with the house remain standing: the Merrick Barn and the privy. The survival of this type of structure is extraordinarily rare, and the funds received will support efforts to stabilize the building, repair the wood shingle roof, repoint the bricks and restore losses to the interior paneling.

"This is a terrific opportunity for Homewood, and the House and Garden Pilgrimage is always a fun day," said Homewood curator Catherine Rogers Arthur.

The privy is located at what was the edge of Homewood's formal gardens. Its design includes two entrances: one for women and children and another for men. Archaeological investigation conducted near the site in the mid-1980s unearthed a number of clay smoking pipes, suggesting the presence of men and the privy as a destination as they strolled through Homewood's grounds.

The building's interior boasts chestnut paneling inscribed with illustrations, poetry and other boyish reminders of the time when Homewood served as site of the Gilman School from 1897 until 1910.

In addition to Homewood House, the private homes and gardens included in the tour are in Roland Park and Woodbrook. Also included are the Woman's Club of Roland Park and St. David's Church. The tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 for admission to all the sites or $10 for an individual site and may be purchased through Homewood House. For tickets or more information, call 410-5165589 or go to


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