Baltimore’s Clifton Mansion Gets Makeover

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Clifton Mansion
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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An iconic Baltimore landmark with centuries of history is getting a much-needed facelift.

Christie Ileto explains what a $7 million renovation means for the Clifton Mansion.

Seven million dollars in major renovations. That’s what the more than 200-year-old Clifton Mansion is getting to restore its crumbling facade which towers over Baltimore.

“The building has certainly suffered from its age,” said Dana Stein, executive director of Civic Works.

The project kicked off Monday and Stein says it’s much needed.

“Many layers of paint have been peeling. We have this great walnut staircase which is in really good shape,” Stein said.

The centuries-old Italianate stucco home currently serves as a recreational resource and houses the nonprofit Civic Works which, among other things, heads job training programs. But the home once belonged to War of 1812 hero Henry Thompson and philanthropist Johns Hopkins.

Members of the Hopkins family say it’s about preserving history.

“One of the things he did a lot was entertain,” a member of the Hopkins family said. “That’s exactly what we’re going to have today is a fantastic house with lots of people coming through it.”

Civic Works, who took over the mansion in the 1990s, say they’ve needed this renovation for decades. Work will include installing heating and air conditioning systems, repairing the crumbling porch and the iconic tower which overlooks the city.

The $7 million comes from tax credits and donations.

“To be able to accomplish this in our difficult fiscal times really sends a strong message about how people feel about the importance of this project,” said Congressman John Sarbanes.

It’s a renovation that will keep the Clifton Mansion towering over Baltimore and a piece of history standing. Most of the renovations are expected to be finished within a year.

The Clifton Mansion is one of a few remaining Italianate villas in the U.S. and is on the National Registry.

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