Union Square Cookie Tour

Trena may have the White House as part of her holiday experience. But, I’ve got Union Square and the H.L. Mencken House around the corner :-).  In addition to the Christmas Tree Farm experience, my holiday-themed weekend included the 26th annual Union Square Christmas Cookie Tour.

 Homeowners in historic Union Square open up their 19th century homes to participants. Each house bakes a different cookie too.

The neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places district. I had some serious house envy. On average, the houses are around 2500 to 3,000 sq ft, 4 bedroom / 4 bathrooms. Oy.

One homeowner said that during the 1800s there were 19 servants that worked in the home!

I didn’t take the best / most useful photos for blogging.  I was all caught up in getting cookies. Plus, it felt a little strange photographing someone’s house. But, here are a few highlights.

This house with the nutcracker collection has nine fireplaces, eight of which are in operation. The one below is in the kitchen. Can you imagine??

While some houses kept the super traditional look. Others went with a more modern decor.

Including this house that hung doors from the set of HBO’s the Wire. These were used as the fictional police department on the show.

Here’s the Christmas tree in the same house. Upside down! I didn’t know that was a thing.

More of the infamous marble steps of Baltimore.

The renovated bathrooms make me want to drool

And other homes of the more modern home were the exposed brick

If you are in the area next Christmas, I recommend you take the tour. It’s got great history, it’s fun to see how people decorate and renovate their homes and a wonderful introduction to this historic area.


  1. You can never have enough boots and booze! It’s all about Jack, Jim and scooting around the house. Great picture !

  2. Can’t find the link now, but read recently about Christmas tree tradition not being brought to Britain by Prince Albert (Victoria’s husband) as popularly believed, but by Queen Charlotte (wife of King George III “Mad King G.”) in the 1700s. It was common to hang the trees and I’ve seen something about hanging them upside down, but doesn’t seem to lend itself to decorating in the same way. Love the tour – thanks so much – particularly the working fireplaces! We have four fireplaces here, but two are now just for show and two have gas fires…much of Britain is smoke-free, meaning only very particular kinds of wood or coal stoves allowed… Probably just as well for my asthma, but sad all the same.

  3. That looks like an awesome tour of old historic homes. I will try to catch that next year. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Shelley’s right — Albert hung his Christmas trees upside down, above the banquet tables. It makes a lot of sense, actually, and if we had a castle to do it in, we’d do it, too. It would minimize the feline re-decoration efforts.

    The one I saw (in a museum re-creation?) was quite lush and laden with decorations, though, nothing like the spare modern one on your tour.

  5. It’s a measure of my current Christmas spirit that I am most drawn to the photo of the bar.

  6. I’ve never done the tour, but a friend of my sister’s used to live around Hollins Square. The houses are huge, as I recall – 4 storeys or so, and they go one forever! Kind of like a number of the houses in Reservoir Hill. And there is a fantastic block of rowhouses on Carey Street in the same area – big, cream colored ones with ironwork detailing, that look like they’ve been transplanted out of London into Southwest Baltimore. I drool badly every time I drive by, even though I have no desire to live over there. I like my nieghbors too much! 🙂 I have to admit Iove the upside down Christmas tree in the one house, though. It would be so much harder for wagging dog butts to take out ornaments that way! 🙂

  7. Ooooh, I haven’t done the tour in more than a dozen years but you summed it up perfectly. Goodies to eat and wonderful homes to gawk at while munching.

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