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Clifton Mansion renovation work to begin

Workers will begin a $7 million renovation of the former summer home of philanthropist Johns Hopkins next week.

Clifton Mansion

(Photo: Frederic C. Chalfant)

The work at the historic Clifton Mansion in Northeast Baltimore will include updating the 200-year-old mansion with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standards like a geothermal HVAC system, automatic light switches and low-flow plumbing.

The Italianate stucco mansion was first built in 1813 for Henry Thompson, a captain in the War of 1812. It later served as the summer residence of Johns Hopkins, who purchased the property in 1837.

The city purchased the mansion and the surrounding Clifton Park in 1895.

The mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sweeping vistas of the city can be seen from an 80-foot tower that caps the house and inside, the mansion holds architectural gems such as several murals and 200-year-old “jib” doors that were hidden by renovations performed there 50 years ago. A jib door is a functioning door that is built into a wall.

The nonprofit service group Civic Works currently uses the Clifton Mansion as its local headquarters. The nonprofit moved into what was then a vacant and dilapidated space in 1993.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will officially kick off the renovations at an event scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Monday at the property, located 2701 St. Lo Drive.