Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Sellers Mansion

This old mansion is a passion of mine. I'm not sure what draws me to it, but there is no denying that I am completely taken by its beauty. It is truly unique in our present day city. There are no more like it. While there are other mansions from this time period, there are none with this style of architecture in a virtually unaltered state. The only architectural elements known to be lost are the roof cresting and possibly an Italianate style cupola. Both went missing sometime in the 20th century.  The Sellers Mansion was the first home built on the east side of Lafayette Square in 1868-9. The owners of this once beautiful mansion hold a very interesting place in history. Matthew Bacon Sellers was the President of the Northern Central Railway and his son, also Matthew Bacon Sellers, was a great aeronautical inventor who laid the ground work for what we know today as NASA. His brother and sister, Samuel and Annabelle became recluses in the house and never left the house after 1930. Samuel was found dead in the dusty, dimly lit, high-ceilinged parlor wearing the 20 year old suit he always wore. An article in the Baltimore Sun Magazine written in 1955 states "Its era began in 1869 - and really didn't end until last September, when Matthew's son Samuel, a recluse who was virtually unknown in Baltimore despite his considerable wealth, died of old age among a jumble and tangle of old relics." The Sellers Mansion is now in a state of advanced deterioration. There is no more time left for this old majestic beauty. If it is to be saved, it must be saved now.

When she was still in her prime. Photo courtesy of

The mansion is in a serious state of decay.

Photo courtesy of

A close up from

E. Sachse, & Co.'s bird's eye view of the city of Baltimore

Similar view from Bing maps

For further reading about The Sellers Manison, check out these links:

Biography Matthew B. Sellers, II
This is an incredible website about the son of the original owner. There's a section about the mansion as well.

Maryland Historical Trust

Baltimore Sun Papers

Baltimore Heritage
Baltimore Heritage has been advocating for the Sellers Mansion for a long time. If anyone can save her it will be Baltimore Heritage! Please consider donating your time and/or money to this great non-profit organization!


Baltoguy said...

BaltoGirl, ever get any responses to this? I recognized the mansion immediately. Not that I knew its name or history but because I've driven by it many times and I agree it is captivating. In its current state I think it can be called haunting. Would be another shame on our city to lose such a grand piece of architecture.

Barbara Sellers said...

I hope the City will save her! This was my grandfathers house!