Dr. William B. Holden, 77, psychiatrist, city advocate

January 23, 2005

Dr. William Bourdon Holden, a retired psychiatrist and advocate of downtown living, died of a heart attack Jan. 16 at his Mount Vernon home. He was 77.

Born in Cincinnati, he earned a degree at Marquette University School of Medicine and did his residency at what is now the University of Maryland Medical Center, where he was also on the medical school faculty for many years.

From 1959 to 1999, Dr. Holden practiced psychiatry at the 11 E. Chase St. professional building.

In the late 1950s he purchased a renovated 1840s home on Tyson Street near Read Street in Mount Vernon.

A 1968 Sun profile said of him, "He finished his training at University Hospital and suddenly found that he had fallen in love with Baltimore."

In the article he praised the city's mix of race and ethnicity.

"It's like living in a multidimensional world. All live quite peaceably side by said," he told a reporter. "It's really one of the most enjoyable things about living in the inner city, the great variety of people who live here. It's never dull."

Dr. Holden served as president of the Tyson Street Association in the 1960s and 1970s and opened his home on annual house tours.

"He loved the Pratt Library and often walked there to read and socialize," said his daughter, Lisa Holden Mortimer of Melrose, Mass. "He also taught himself how to play the flute and piano, and composed."

He also enjoyed games of chess at Martick's restaurant.

Entombment services were held yesterday in Reserve, La.

Survivors include another daughter, Katherine Montegut Holden of Springfield, Va.; a sister, Anne Holden ElCid of La Place, La.; and four granddaughters. His 1955 marriage to the former Nancy King ended in divorce.

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