E. J. Gallagher Realty Company collection
This collection consists of photographs, ephemera, manuscript items, blueprints, and other items related to the E.J. Gallagher Realty Company, one of the premier builders of rowhomes in Baltimore in the first half of the 20th century. The company also designed the development of Ednor Gardens in northeast Baltimore.
- E. J. Gallagher Realty Company (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.
Edward Joseph Gallagher, the son of Irish immigrants, apprenticed himself as a carpenter while still a youth, and in the decades that followed he became one of Baltimore’s premier builders. He was also an amateur painter and earned a law degree upon graduating from Baltimore College Law School at the end of the 1890s.
Gallagher’s first building venture on his own was in the Canton section of Baltimore in July 1888. In 1895, in his first project working with an architect, Gallagher constructed eight houses on Robert Street, just north of North Avenue. He continued to upscale his work, and followed this up with another high-end project in the 2400 block of Eutaw Place. Partnering with Francis Yewell, an established developer, these homes were to be even more elaborate, featuring more expensive materials: brownstone marble, field stone, turrets, and some with balustrade balconies. These ten houses, still standing as beautiful as when they were built in 1895-96, were targeted for Baltimore’s elite.
In 1909, Gallagher incorporated his company as the E.J.Gallagher Realty Company. The business continued to expand during the first two decades of the twentieth century. It was a time of rowhouse construction in Baltimore where more than 50,000 of these types of homes were built between 1910 and 1930. Rowhouses offered affordable housing to the many working families employed in the manufacturing industry and fabric mills operating in Baltimore at that time.
Perhaps the E.J. Gallagher Real Estate Company will be best remembered by Gallagher’s idea to build a planned community of different types of rowhouses that suited different needs and pricing. This new development was to be known as Ednor Gardens (Named for his sons—Ed for Edward, Jr. and Nor for A. (Albert) Norman). This development continued to expand during the 1930s and into the 1950s, eventually becoming Ednor Gardens-Lakeside after merging with Lakeside, an adjacent neighborhood so named because of its proximity to Lake Montebello. Gallagher’s meticulous bookkeeping allows a look into his Realty Company Company’s activities. He kept a ledger of sales, alphabetically listing the buyer’s name “and wife,” if applicable, along with the house and address. By rough count, 3,000 entries are in the one ledger.
Initially the Realty Company leased an office in the Munsey Building in downtown Baltimore, but by 1929 they had moved, along with their subsidiaries, the Acreage Land Company and the Montebello Land Company, to their own building at 3501 Ednor Road. By this time, Gallagher’s sons Edward Joseph Jr. and Norman were managing the company as well as the Eastern Supply Company, a supplier of coal and building materials, that had been acquired by their father. Edward Jr. became involved in other ventures including serving as Director of the Fidelity Guarantee Fire Corporation and the United States Fidelity and Guarantee Corporation.
Edward Gallagher died in 1933 leaving the business to his sons Edward Jr. and Norman. The Acreage Land Company was dissolved in 1938, and the Montebello Land Company and their Eastern Supply Company dissolved in 1952. By this time Norman Gallagher’s sons established their own company, the Gallagher Construction Company.
6 Linear Feet (6 boxes, 1 rolled item)
Language of Materials
The collection is broken down into 3 Series: Series I. Photographs; Series II. Manuscripts and Ephemera; Series III. Blueprints.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection was acquired in 1986 by the Peale Museum; Acc#1986.67. In 1997 the Peale/Baltimore City Life Museums closed due to lack of funding. Their collections were transferred to the Maryland Historical Society in 1998.
Scope and Contents
The E.J. Gallagher Realty Collection consists of 6 boxes and one rolled item. The materials include photographs, ephemera, manuscript materials, and blueprints related to the E.J. Gallagher Realty Company, one of the premier builders of rowhomes in Baltimore in the first half of the 20th century.
The collection is broken down into 3 Series:
Series I: Photographs
This series consists of 227 photographs primarily of properties built by the E.J. Gallagher Company. The bulk of the images are of the development of Ednor Gardens. There are also images of E.J. Gallagher and his two sons, Edward J. Gallagher, Jr. and Norman Gallagher. The photographs, mostly black and white prints, date from the 1920s to the 1930s.
Series II: Manuscripts and Ephemera
This series consists of some business records of the E.J. Gallagher Company, including lists of properties sold, correspondence, and bills of sale, There are also scrapbooks of newpaper clippings and brochures and advertisements for E.J. Gallagher properties including Ednor Gardens.
Series III: Blueprints
This series consists of blueprints of various properties built by the E.J. Gallagher Company including homes in Ednor Gardens.
- Guide to the E. J. Gallagher Realty Company collection
- Under Revision
- Damon Talbot and Sidney Levy
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- 2020-05-06: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Emily Somach.