Location: Franklintown, MD
Client: Arrisbrook Builders
Type: Compact Development/
Award: MAX Award, Outstanding Home, Homebuilders’ Association of Maryland
Ashman’s Hope is a thoughtfully designed enclave of semi-custom homes located in the historic Baltimore neighborhood of Franklintown. Established in 1834, Franklintown was the first planned suburb in America. Many of the original historic structures remain today and have set the tone for the traditional architectural style of the new homes at Ashman’s Hope.
One of the large landholders in Franklintown was William H. Freeman, who lived on the estate Arlington, in today’s Colonial Park (Baltimore County). In 1832, Freeman decided to develop what was probably Baltimore’s first planned suburban community – Franklin Towne. This community was comprehensively planned but only partially completed. In 1834 there was a run on the Maryland State Bank, which was financing the project, and further development was abandoned. Freeman built the Franklintown Mills and the Franklin House Hotel, as well as a stone market house. In addition, the streets were laid out and the area extensively landscaped. The street grid planned by Freeman, including the parks and ovals, was not altered when Baltimore City annexed this area of Baltimore County. The current street pattern still follows this original plan.
Historic Franklintown still has many of its original buildings – the Franklintown Mill, the Franklin House (the Franklintown Inn), The Homestead, the original schoolhouse, and others. Franklintown is bordered on the east by Leakin Park and is near the western end of the Gwynns Falls Leakin Park Trail. Thomas Winans’ historic Russian-style house, Oreanda, is located in Leakin Park near the Winans Meadow entrance to the trail.
The white farmhouse which was originally in the center of the cul de sac is being reconstructed on a corner lot.