By August 30, 1867, the Sun reported on development in the area of Eutaw Place in glowing terms, writing:
Dwelling Improvements in the Western Section. A visit to the vicinity of Eutaw place, Lafayette square, or to that section of the city north and west of Madison avenue, will convince the most skeptical that Baltimore is improving to a degree which will astonish many, and gratify all who have the prosperity of the city at heart.
On July 1, 1875, the Sun reported on the Mayor’s approval for an ordinance “to curb Eutaw square, between Wilson street and North avenue, with six-inch granite curb.”
On May 21, 1877, the Sun reported on improvements to the parks and fountains, writing:
Eutaw Place, running from Dolphin street to Boundary avenue, is one of the handsomest of the many choice localities for residence in the new northwestern section of the city. All of the dwellings are handsome and commodious. The lots are deep, and many of them wide enough for side yards, together with open space in the front. […] Grass plats in the streets add greatly to the beauty and attractiveness of the location. The iron railing formerly inclosing these reservations has been taken down from all except two plats between Dolphin and Townsend streets, and growing flowers have been added to the attractiveness of the place. The handsomest addition, however, is the new iron fountain erected in the square between McMechen and Wilson streets. The fountain was exhibit at the centennial by Messrs. Mott & Co., of New York, and took the first premium. Its cost of construction was $9,000, but it was purchased for a much less sum by the residents of Eutaw Place. […] The Gunther fountain, the gift of Mr. L.W. Gunther, which is erected in the reservation between Mosher and Townsend streets, is another one of the main attractions of Eutaw Place. The fountain is bronze, 18 feet high, and richly ornamented.
According to an account from 1982, the home at 1700 Eutaw Place was originally constructed in the 1890s by Thomas Kennett.
On February 9, 1906, the Sun reported on a proposal to cover the former mansion at 1700 Eutaw Place into a new apartment building with a new story on top and a major addition to the rear:
The Navarre Realty Company applied for a permit to erect a four-story addition to the apartment house at the northwest corner of Eutaw Place and Wilson street, A deed has been recorded transferring the Wood residence to the Navarre Realty Company. The property was originally transferred from Mrs. Laura A. Wood to Mr. John D. Byrd, who transferred it to the realty company. It will be converted into an apartment house. The addition is to be 45 by 180 feet and is to cost $22,500.
On October 2, 1912, the Sun reported on the development of the property, writing:
Mr. Griffin, who sold the Regester farm, yesterday bought, for $100,000, the Navarre Apartments, at the northwest corner of Eutaw Place and Wilson street, directly opposite the Marlborough Apartments. Considerable money will be spent at once by Mr. Griffin in improvements, one of which will be the laying of hardwood floors on all the halls. The structure contains 24 apartments, three stores, in the Wilson street side of the basement, and a big dining room and kitchen for the apartment house. The house was built in 1906 by the Navarre Realty Company, which has owned it ever since. It was originally the old Woods home, but another story was built on, and extensions carried it back to the alley. The building now fronts 60 feet on Eutaw Place by 130 feet on Wilson street.
On Jan 12, 1913, the Sun reported on the arrest of an elevator operator, Albert Glover, a resident of 1321 N. Carey Street, for robbing apartments in the building.
On May 8, 1923, the Sun reported:
For the second time in the Iast few months the Navarre Apartments, at the northwest corner of Eutaw Place and Wilson street, has changed hands. Yesterday the property was’ purchased by Adolph Rosenthal, dealer in dry goods, from Robert Seff and Samuel Speert for a consideration said to have been about $125,000 in fee simple. Harry C. Michael and Jack Hamburger were the brokers. Of brick, four stories high, the building occupies a lot 50 by 150 feet and contains 27 house-keeping suites, ranging from four rooms and bath to seven rooms and bath in addition to three stores. The purchaser, who acquired the property for investment, will make alterations and improvements at a cost of $25,000, it was said.
On Aug 12, 1956, the Sun published a nostalgic reminisce by Helen Bond Crane titled “…Eutaw Place in Its Finest Days,” that described what she saw as a declining neighborhood between the 1910s and 1940s, writing:
With the exodus of many of the old families to Roland Park and other suburbs, beginning about 1910, deterioration set in. Property values went down; old houses were converted to apartments; the ornate fountains were demolished and replaced by concrete slabs, as were most of the large circular flower beds. When, after an absence of many years, I came back to Baltimore in the 1940’s and found myself living in the Cecil Apartments just below Dolphin street, the shock was painful.
On Dec 23, 1961, the Afro-American reported on the criminal conviction of Mrs. Lavanya X. Hammond, a resident of 1700 Eutaw Place, on charges of “soliciting for immoral purposes” and “permitting her apartment to be used for prostitution.” The prosector reportedly told the judge that Mrs. Hammond had a “long history of prostitution” with a record of 10 convictions, dating back to 1931.
Leslie M. Freudenheim reported for the Sun on November 1, 1977, writing:
Surprisingly, many of the old houses on Eutaw place have survived the ravages of time and abuse. In fact, the two blocks between Wilson and Robert streets remain virtually intact. Over the years absentee landlords wishing to convert these huge houses into more manageable, rentable units subdivided rooms with flimsy room-dividers, hung dropped ceilings below the elaborately painted ones above, and slapped wallboard over existing walls. Therefore the tooled leather wainscoating, French tapestry coverings, and other elegant details were frequently preserved. Paradoxically, the cheaper the means used to convert a large mansion into smaller apartments, the more likely the original architectural details were to have been preserved. […] The redisovery of Eutaw Place’s magnificent housing stock has gained tremendous momentum in the last four years. As Bolton Hill houses have become increasingly expensive and as the demand for elegant town houses has increased, prospective buyers have turned towards Eutaw place.
The article highlighted the preserved details and planned rehabilitation of properties neighboring 1700 Eutaw Place including:
- 1724 Eutaw Place
- 1718 Eutaw Place
- 1714 Eutaw Place
- 1801 Eutaw Place
On Apr 26, 1981, the Baltimore Sun reported:
David Clark & Associates, Inc. developer is renovating a former private residence and apartment building at the corner of Eutaw Place and Wilson street into 24 one- and two-bedrooms apartments. The Kensett House Apartments, as they will now be called, were named after Thomas Kensett, an oyster packer who built the front portion o the building as a private home in the late 1800s. After a later addition, the building was converted into apartments, said Marty Bement, manager of the local Clark office. There will be extensive interior renovations, Mr. Bement said, adding that the building is listed on the federal historic register. The brick will be cleaned to return the exterior of the building to its original appearance and the tiles on the Mansard roof will be returned to their original color. Interior details such as shutters, scrollwork and glazed tiles will be retained, he added. Amy Gould of Nichols-Gould is the architect for the apartment renovation.
On February 7, 1982, the Sun reported on “Two old mansions becoming apartments” comparing the rehabilitation of the 1700 Eutaw Place building to the renovation of the Gunther Mansion in Butcher’s Hill and its conversion into 8 apartments for almost $500,000.
On September 15, 1997, Suzanne E. Stipe reported for the Baltimore Business Journal, describing the challenges facing 1700 Eutaw Place and other apartment buildings around the country in the face of planned changes to a HUD rental subsidy program. The article notes:
These apartments house tenants who participate in a HUD program called Section 8, which pays landlords a subsidy for each apartment rented to poorer tenants. The subsidies vary, depending on a number of factors, including where the property is located and the income level of the tenant. One such landlord is 1700 Eutaw Place LP, which owns a 24-unit building called Kensett House at that Bolton Hill address. The partnership’s 15-year rent subsidy contract with HUD on 19 apartments in the building will expire this year, as will similar contracts with other landlords that allow HUD to subsidize some 260,000 units across the nation. Over the next 10 years, subsidies on more than 800,000 units are due to expire. […] Kensett House is a 24-unit building in which all of the apartments are rented by Section 8 tenants through different HUD contracts. Contracts on 19 units in the building are expiring this year; contracts on the last five will expire in 2002. The fair market rental price in Bolton Hill for a one-bedroom apartment is about $495. But the partnership receives $656 a month per unit, or about 130 percent of the rental prices charged in the area. Each tenant pays the partnership 30 percent of his or her income level – adjusted for things such as medical costs and children – and HUD pays the rest. The reason rents at buildings like Kensett House often are higher than the market is HUD’s traditional way of writing contracts. HUD provided for annual inflation increases and took into account the administrative costs of participating in the program as well as the costs of upkeep. Also, sometimes HUD-subsidized rents are higher than rents in the same area because other buildings’ rent values may not have increased at the same pace or have decreased. The owners of Kensett House, for instance, have made more than $75,000 worth of capital improvements over the past three years to the facility, which is designated as an historical building. These upkeep costs are a little higher than average because strict rules must be followed when renovating historical properties, Campbell said. Kensett House’s owners have decided to participate in the voluntary demonstration program and may try to restructure the mortgage. Restructuring negotiations could take the full six months of the contract extension granted under the demonstration program, Campbell said. “We have to look at … what is best for the partnership,” Campbell said.
In recent years, the Kensett House has struggled, selling at foreclosure on 10/23/2002 for $78,627.45 (Source). At a meeting of the Mount Royal Improvement Association on April 13, 2004, the attendees discussed the Kennett House, as the meeting minutes note:
Kensett House, 1700 Eutaw, was sold by HUD to the current owner with a deed restriction to reduce density to 16 units. The owner attempted to have the restriction lifted and to allow 18 units. MRIA wrote a letter to HUD, objecting to the change. HUD’s response is that there will be no change without the support of MRIA.
The owners of the Kensett House applied to the state historic tax credit program for support three times, in fiscal 2006, 2009, and 2010, before being granted a commercial credit in fiscal 2013. (Source). The building was sold at auction on March 24, 2009 to the owner of 1808 Eutaw Place. (Source)