Great people have lived in our neighborhood!
Edgar Allan Poe’s headstone at Westminster Burying Ground in Baltimore.
Edgar Allen Poe
poet, short story writer, critic
Poe lived in Baltimore in the 1830s, died here, and is buried on the corner of Greene and West Fayette Steet in Westminster Burying Ground. Poe’s influence in Baltimore remains strong, even extending to the naming of our football team, the Baltimore Ravens.
Wallis Simpson was married to Prince Edward in 1937. Wallis’ gown was designed by Mainbocher and was the color “Wallis blue” to match her eyes.
Wallis Warfield Simpson, Duchess of Windsor
While her first marriage to Earl Winfield Spencer, Jr., a United States Navy pilot, took place on November 8, 1916, at Christ (Episcopal) Church to which Chase Court is the former parish house and where she was also confirmed, she is best know for her third marriage to Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, who abdicated the British throne to marry her. Warfield grew up in a large and comfortable house at 9 West Chase Street and later moved to 212 East Biddle Street after the death of her mother’s second husband. Given that Christ Church was Warfield’s home parish, she undoubtedly spent a lot of time in the parish house.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald lived at The Stafford Hotel, 718 Washington Place (now student housing for Peabody Institute) while he and his wife, Zelda, were writing about the underside of the glittery jazz age.
writer and columnist
Post was born in Baltimore and lived in the family home, which her architect-father designed, at 14 East Chase Street, next to what is now the Chase Street entrance to Chase Court. (Her father also designed Christ (Episcopal) Church, to which Chase Court is the former parish house.) She is, of course, forever associated with her writings on etiquette, beginning with Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage, published in 1922.
novelist and playwright
James stayed at the Belvedere Hotel, One East Chase Street, in 1905. His The American Scene included observatiions of urban life in Baltimore.
Claribel Cone, Gertrude Stein, and Etta Cone, Fiesole, Italy, in 1903. Illustration by Susan Fillion.
Claribel and Etta Cone
Over a period of 50 years, Claribel and Etta Cone, two sisters who lived in adjoining apartments on Eutaw Street in Baltimore, acquired one of the most important modern art collections in the world. Their holdings included more than 500 works by Henri Matisse, along with paintings and sculpture by Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne and other masters of late 19th-century and early 20th-century French art. They began collecting, and supporting, several of these artists—most notably Matisse—well before they were widely recognized as masters.
The Cones became friends with writer Gertrude Stein and her family in the late 1890s, when Stein was in Baltimore attending Johns Hopkins University. Etta later credited Leo Stein, Gertrude’s brother, with helping her develop an eye for modern art.
Etta Cone left most of the sisters’ collection, along with $400,000 for a wing to exhibit it, to The Baltimore Museum of Art. In 1950, this treasure trove of great art—more than 3,000 works—left Eutaw Street for its permanent home.
novelist and playwright
Sinclair was born in a boarding house at 417 North Charles Street. He’s best known for his novel, The Jungle, describing Chicago’s meatpacking industry and which inspired President Franklin Roosevelt to create the Food and Drug Administration.
novelist, playwright and essayist
Stein lived at 212 East Biddle Street, three blocks from what is now Chase Court, while she was attending Johns Hopkins Medical School. She was friends with the Cone sisters (see above).