Liri­o­den­dron Man­sion is open for the sea­son



— The man­sion with the seem­ingly ex­otic name has re­opened for the 2016 sea­son. The Liri­o­den­dron, at 502 W. Gor­don St., will be open on Sun­days, from 1 to 4 p.m., and through­out the sum­mer and early fall months for a va­ri­ety of events and gallery ex­hibits.

The sum­mer home of Dr. Howard and Laeti­tia Kelly, the Liri­o­den­dron was listed on the Na­tional Regis­ter of His­toric Places in 1980. Kelly was a highly suc­cess­ful sur­geon and found­ing mem­ber of the Johns Hop­kins Mei­d­cal Col­lege. De­signed by the pop­u­lar Bal­ti­more ar­chi­tec­tural firm of Wy­att and Nolting in the Ge­or­gian Re­vival style, Liri­o­den­dron was built in 1898.

Dr. Howard At­wood Kelly was born in 1858 in Cam­den, N.J., and is con­sid­ered one of the “Big Four” of found­ing pro­fes­sors at the Johns Hop­kins Hospital in Bal­ti­more, where he worked as a gyne­col­o­gist. He is cred­ited with es­tab­lish­ing gy­ne­col­ogy as a true spe­cialty, by de­vel­op­ing new sur­gi­cal ap­proaches


to women-only dis­eases and through patho­log­i­cal re­search.

In 1889, Kelly, at only 31 years of age, was hired to be the very first pro­fes­sor of gy­ne­col­ogy and ob­stet­rics at JHU and gy­ne­co­log­i­cal sur­geon at Johns Hop­kins Hospital. The other “Big Four” Founders were Wil­liam Osler, Pro­fes­sor of Medicine; Wil­liam Ste­wart Hal­sted, Pro­fes­sor of Surgery; and Wil­liam H. Welch, Pro­fes­sor of Pathol­ogy.

Dur­ing Kelly’s 30-year ca­reer at Johns Hop­kins, he de­vel­oped new sur­gi­cal ap­proaches to women’s dis­eases and in­vented nu­mer­ous med­i­cal de­vices, in­clud­ing the cys­to­scope. He was one of the very first to use ra­dium to treat cancer, found­ing the Kelly Clinic in Bal­ti­more, which was a lead­ing cen­ter in the en­tire coun­try for ra­di­a­tion ther­apy. Kelly was also re­spon­si­ble for or­ga­niz­ing the cour­ses, lec­tures and clin­i­cal work for med­i­cal stu­dents at JHU.

Kelly has been re­mem­bered at Hop­kins with the Kelly Gyne­co­logic On­col­ogy Ser­vice named for him and in 1943 a U.S. Lib­erty Ship was chris­tened the Howard A. Kelly. A friend of Bal­ti­more’s sage H.L. Mencken, he is fre­quently re­ferred to in Mencken’s ex­ten­sive writ­ings.

The Liri­o­den­dron is owned and op­er­ated by Har­ford County Parks and Recreation and the Liri­o­den­dron Foun­da­tion. The man­sion, which looks like a home fit­ting for New­port’s man­sion row, ex­hibits dra­matic grandeur on a raised stone foun­da­tion.

For those won­der­ing about the ex­otic sound­ing name, Liri­o­den­dron, it is de­scrip­tive of two species of large de­cid­u­ous trees in the mag­no­lia fam­ily. You’ve likely seen them through­out Har­ford County where they are called by the far more com­mon name of “Tulip Tree.”


The his­toric Liri­o­den­dron Man­sion was added to the Na­tional Regis­ter of His­toric Places in 1980.

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