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.