Architect of Bolton Square townhouses dies

The architect who designed the award-winning Bolton Square townhouses as part of a 1960s Bolton Hill neighborhood revitalization program has died after a bout with COVID-19.  Hugh Newell Jacobsen,  whose mid-century modern design won a city competition to help develop the townhouse complex, was 91.

It was the first significant  new housing to be built in the Bolton Hill neighborhood in the 20th Century. Jacobsen, just starting out on his own from a studio in D.C., spoke proudly of his work in Baltimore.  The housing complex was built and opened in stages beginning in 1967.

Jacobsen attended a 50th anniversary celebration held by Bolton Square residents in 2018, accompanied by a son and grandchildren.  His Washington Post obituary tracked his career from graduation at the University of Maryland and Yale School of Architecture.  He was, the Post noted, obsessed with light in his designs.  In his best-remembered residential projects, Mr. Jacobsen’s trademark became a series of steep-roofed pavilions unfurling like a telescope. His houses had elongated windows to draw natural light into the space and pervasive white walls to reflect it throughout the room.