September 27, 2010 Mid-Century Modern

Mies’ Mid-Century Modern Condos in Baltimore

Highland House

I stopped at Modern Capital sponsor Home Anthology on Saturday on the way to the Baltimore Book Festival. I checked out Rob and Nini’s latest finds and got a great tip about a Mies Van der Rohe-designed condo building just north of Johns Hopkins Homewood campus. I had never read about the Highfield House so off we went to 4000 N. Charles St. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. (The only other building in Maryland designed by Mies is the 1962 One Charles Center office building, which is also on the National Register of Historic Places.)

I found four listed for sale, ranging from a 1 bed/1 bath for $125,000 to a 2 bed/2 bath for $195,000. The two more expensive units have the original kitchen cabinets. The other two unfortunately have had them removed. What? You really should not mess with the master. I hope to take a tour of some of the units this coming weekend so I will report back from my tour inside.

Highland House

A view of Mies' Highfield House from N. Charles Street.

Built in 1964, the 15-story reinforced-concrete and glass structure is perched on columns that shelter a glass-enclosed lobby with its Mies-designed Barcelona chairs, ottomans and coffee table.

Highland House

Highland House lobby

Appropriate furniture in the lobby, which features terrazzo floors.

Highland House

Mies’ plan, originally designed as an apartment building, included the surrounding grounds with a sunken pool and landscaped recreation area.

Mies' minimalist modern landscape on the back terrace.

Highland House landscape

Mies' modern planting beds.

Highland House pool

Highland House's back terrace and sunken swimming pool.

Highland House

Back lawn area with free-standing screen.

Highland House

A shot of the back of Highfield House through the minimalist plantings.