Their home sits on a lushly landscaped lot filled with matur azaleas, a tulip poplar, Chinese elm and beech tree. It also has a porch, enclosed on three sides, that overlooks a carefully tended garden.
Palmer and Lamdin were better known for building unique clusters of homes than for designs such as the houses owned by the Robertses and Morrows. Homeland's Middleton Court, just off Paddington Road, provides a classic example.
The original October 1931 ad for the homes describes the court -- a dozen homes arranged within seven structures -- as being of Charleston architecture. Some have the whitewashed brick popular in the 1930s and a masonry coloration effect favored by the architects.
Richard Flint, a University of Maryland museum planner who lives on Middleton Court with his wife, Judy Gardner-Flint, and son, 5-year-old Christopher, says finding these Palmer-Lamdin designs brought to an end an exhaustive search for the ideal Baltimore home.
"We found this house and were delighted. Like its ad said, this is definitely not a typical center-hall Colonial." Instead of a house with long and dark hallways, his home has a square entrance hall and staircaselighted by a double-height window.
"The design is functional, efficient and very pleasing," Mr. Flint says. "The landscaping is especially well-integrated. Many of the original plantings have survived and flourish. The court is looking especially good in the spring, but there are crepe myrtles that burst into color during July and August."
Neighborhood lore has it that Middleton Court's builder, Clifton Wells (his motto was A Wells Built Home) nearly went into bankruptcy during the hard financial times of the Great Depression.
"He used the best materials and it must have been a hardship as conditions worsened," Mr. Flint says.
While Palmer and Lamdin may be best known for Baltimore homes, Mr. Palmer's most extensive project was outside the city some 981 stucco residences built in Dundalk, the community he created for World War I steelworkers and shipbuilders.
Good practical design and solid construction have stood the test of time, says Diane Pinter, proud owner of an Edward Palmer home at 10 Flagship Road (designed about 1918 before he became partners with Lamdin), where she lives with her husband, Frank, and daughters, Bethany and Katie.
"I realize that even though these homes are modest, they are good-looking and charming," says Mrs. Pinter, a founding member and vice chairman of the Greening of Dundalk, an organization that has planted 1,000 new trees since 1989. "They have slate roofs and maintenance-free stucco walls. We have porches. When I go into a newly developed community, there are no porches. Porches allow people to sit and wave to their neighbors."
Her home is one of hundreds that are all very similar, but seem different because of their configurations in groups. Palmer and Lamdin were often recognized as specialists in site-planning, a quality much in evidence along the streets of Dundalk.
The Olmsted Brothers, the noted landscape architects, designed the streets and general layout of the community, which has a central Palmer-Lamdin-designed shopping plaza. Its design was immediately acclaimed. The Sun called the neighborhood "A miniature Roland Park, . . . a picturesque mass of high pitched roofs and gables."
TALK AND TOUR
What: Lecture and slide show on the work of architects Edward L. Palmer and William D. Lamdin
When: 7 tonight
Where: Evergreen Theatre, Johns Hopkins University, 4545 N. Charles St.
What: Tour of six Palmer and Lamdin houses in Guilford
When: Meet at Evergreen Theatre at 1 p.m. Saturday. Tour returns at 4 p.m. for tea and a showing of Palmer and Lamdin drawings.