At home again on Hopkins campus Residence: A new leader at JHU means the return to a tradition abandoned 25 years ago. President William Brody and his wife, Wendy, live on campus, in the stately Georgian house built to be home to university presidents.

Urban Landscape

April 10, 1997|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

WHEN THE Johns Hopkins University holds its annual spring fair this weekend, at least one couple won't have to walk very far to get home.

Newly inaugurated university President William R. Brody and his wife, Wendy, recently moved into Nichols House, a stately Georgian residence near the Hopkins Club on the Homewood campus.

The two-story dwelling is adjacent to the area where Hopkins students usually set up the beer garden during the fair, and this year will be no different.

"It's going to be there as usual," Hopkins spokesman Dennis O'Shea said of the beer garden. "There's no change because of the president."

What has changed is the president's attitude about campus living.

This year marks the first time in 25 years that a Hopkins president has lived on the Homewood campus. The last one to do so was Lincoln Gordon, who stepped down in 1971 after five turbulent years. Steven and Margie Muller lived in Timonium; William C. and Nancy Richardson lived in Guilford.

The Brodys' decision to live in Nichols House shows how much they want to be part of campus life, even if that means they might sometimes encounter bands on the lawn outside.

"One of my goals is to improve the quality of life on and around campus," Brody told the Johns Hopkins Magazine last fall. "By being here, we can get a better sense of what changes might be needed."

The house is named after Thomas Nichols, a Hopkins trustee who had it built in the 1950s for former President Milton S. Eisenhower. It's a copy of Rolling Ridge, Nichols' residence in Baltimore County.

As editor Sue DePasquale wrote in the Hopkins magazine:

"Eisenhower moved in in 1959, bringing with him his longtime housekeeper Margie Morgan; her husband Charles, and their pet monkey (which spent most of its time in the basement, but was occasionally spotted swinging from the trees in the back yard). Eisenhower had a light out front that he used as a form of invitation; when it was lit, students knew they were welcome to drop in on the widower for an evening of informal conversation in the library -- which many of them did, regularly."

Gordon had a less cordial relationship with students, who gathered on his front steps at one point to protest a drug bust in the dorms. Since 1971, DePasquale reports, Nichols House has been a bed and breakfast, staff offices and a set for the movie "The Seduction of Joe Tynan."

The building was renovated before the Brodys moved in late last year. But as fairgoers likely will discover -- the event runs tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday -- it still looks much as it did when Eisenhower lived there nearly 40 years ago.

Preservation colloquium

"Preservation in the Monumental City" is the title of an all-day Historic Preservation Colloquium that will take place in Baltimore on Wednesday in conjunction with the 50th annual meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Open to the public, the event starts at the Baltimore Hilton hotel and includes tours of Mount Vernon Place, the Inner Harbor's residential neighborhoods and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Speakers will include former Gov. William Donald Schaefer, former Orioles Vice President Janet Marie Smith and Baltimore preservation planner Eric Holcomb. To register, call the Chicago office of the Society of Architectural Historians at 1-312-573-1365.

'Eastside' planner chosen

The architectural firm of Cho, Wilks & Benn has been selected over four other finalists to lead a three-month study of the "Eastside" renewal area for Baltimore Development Corp.

The study area is bounded by the Inner Harbor on the south, Frederick Street on the west, Baltimore Street on the north and Central Avenue on the east. BDC asked the urban design firm to prepare a plan to guide development east of Baltimore's central business district.

Mullan wins award

Mullan Contracting Co. was declared the grand winner in the Associated Builders & Contractors' "Excellence in Construction Awards" for its work on the Rollins-Luetkemeyer Athletic Center at the McDonogh School in Owings Mills.

Designed by Cochran, Stephenson & Donkervoet Architects, the facility serves all of McDonogh's lower-, middle- and upper-grade-level athletic programs, as well as staff and alumni recreational activities.

Pub Date: 4/10/97

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