Project Description


Clifton Mansion
Baltimore, Maryland


The Clifton Mansion is one of Baltimore’s most historic buildings located within Clifton Park. Built in 1803 by Henry Thompson, merchant and shipowner, who played a pivotal role in the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, it was purchased and renovated in 1841 by Johns Hopkins for use as his summer estate. In 1895 it was purchased by the City of Baltimore and housed the Department of Recreation and Parks until Civic Works, a youth training and community service organization, became the tenant in 1993.

Civic Works is restoring the 19,000 square foot building for use as its headquarters with offices, meeting rooms and an exhibition space. It hopes to see the building become a community meeting place that will help stabilize and energize the adjacent neighborhoods.

In addition to structural repairs to the south porch and interior floors, the exterior of the building– the stucco, wood trim, windows, doors and roofing on the south porch— will be fully repaired and restored to its original Italianate appearance. All new mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression systems will be installed, extending heat and air conditioning to all floors for the first time. Also for the first time, a new elevator will be installed within the existing structure. All bathrooms will be gutted and modernized. The building will be LEED Gold and will utilize a geothermal system and installation of storm windows to make the building more energy efficient.

Phase II will involve restoration of the interior finishes including plaster and flooring as well as restoration of the many historic wall murals.

Gant Brunett Architects
Kinsley Construction
Total Cost

Adaptive Reuse
Complex Funding
Green Buildings
Historic Structures
Public-Private Partnership
Significant Site Constraints

“We originally thought we could manage the project ourselves. It didn’t take long to change our minds. True to the name, Synthesis pulled all the strands of the project together. The biggest benefit was the overall organization brought to the endeavor as a whole. Synthesis knew exactly what needed to be done and how to keep it all under control and on track.

They made us feel we were more than a client to them; that they really like and support what we do. As professionals, they are terrific and, as people, they are good guys.”

Dana Stein Executive Director, Civic Works