October 31, 2008
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
2.2 Pounds (US)
$50.00 USD, £37.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Baltimore's Alley Houses

Homes for Working People since the 1780s

Winner, 2009 Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize. Vernacular Architecture Forum

This pioneering study explains how one of America’s important early cities responded to the challenge of housing its poorer citizens. Where and how did the working poor live? How did builders and developers provide reasonably priced housing for lower-income groups during the city's growth?

Having studied over 3,000 surviving alley houses in Baltimore through extensive land records and census research, Mary Ellen Hayward systematically reconstructs the lives, households, and neighborhoods that once thrived on the city's narrowest streets.

In the past, these neighborhoods were sometimes referred to as "dilapidated," "blighted," or "poverty stricken." In Baltimore's Alley Houses, Hayward reveals the rich cultural and ethnic traditions that formed the African-American and immigrant Irish, German, Bohemian, and Polish communities that made their homes on the city's alley streets.

Featuring more than one hundred historic images, Baltimore's Alley Houses documents the changing architectural styles of low-income housing over two centuries and reveals the complex lives of its residents.

About the Author

Mary Ellen Hayward is an architectural historian and museum consultant who has worked on a number of projects sponsored by the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland Humanities Council. She is coauthor of The Baltimore Rowhouse and coeditor of The Architecture of Baltimore: An Illustrated History, also published by Johns Hopkins.


"Engagingly written and well researched."

- Diane Scharper - Baltimore Sun

"Throughout Baltimore's Alley Houses, the writing betrays the author's affection for Baltimore and its old, often-decayed houses... In the book's epilogue, Hayward writes that '[t]he memories are worth saving. They cannot be replaced' (265). Her book is itself an important document for maintenance of those memories and of the material culture from which they are derived."

- Jeremy Kargon - Maryland Historical Magazine & MHS Publications

"A well-illustrated architectural and social history."

- Laura B. Driemeyer - Buildings and Landscapes


"Mary Ellen Hayward tells the story of how immigrants found the American dream of owning a home through the unique invention of row houses—which made homes affordable and accessible and built a community that made Baltimore such a vibrant mosaic of neighborhoods."

- Senator Barbara A. Mikulski

9780801888342 : baltimores-alley-houses-hayward
328 Pages
$50.00 USD

Other Titles by Mary Ellen Hayward

The Architecture of Baltimore

edited by Mary Ellen Hayward and Frank R. Shivers Jr. - foreword by Richard Hubbard Howland and Robert L. Alexander
Jul 2004 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$62.00 USD - Hardback

Maryland in the Civil War

Robert I. Cottom and Mary Ellen Hayward
Jan 1995 - The Maryland Historical Society
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from Creating the North American Landscape

Public Markets and Civic Culture in Nineteenth-Century America

Helen Tangires
Mar 2020 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$45.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text

The Cotton Plantation South since the Civil War

Charles S. Aiken
Mar 2020 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$50.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$50.00 USD - Electronic book text

Capital's Utopia

Anne E. Mosher
Mar 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$56.00 USD - Hardback
$56.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in ARCHITECTURE / Buildings / Residential

Ante Bellum Houses of the Bluegrass

Clay Lancaster
Oct 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$35.00 USD - Electronic book text

Kas di Shon

Sandra van Noord
Aug 2018 - LM Publishers
$29.50 USD - Hardback

Chromatic Homes

John I. Gilderbloom
Jul 2018 - Hans Gilderbloom, an imprint of University Press of Kentucky
$24.95 USD - Hardback
$12.95 USD - Paperback / softback