Union Square

Leaving Union Square on the West Baltimore Squares Spring Walk


Chris Taylor | President | taylfour@msn.com | 443.415.0554
Andrea Leahy | Vice President | and.cu@hotmail.com

Union Square publishes a community newsletter and encourages submissions, story suggestions and comments from local residents. Email raywilliamsmedia@aol.com with your story and content ideas.


Union Square originally began as part of Willowbrook, the John Donnell Federal-period estate, which he purchased in 1802 from Baltimore merchant and later Mayor Thorowgood Smith. In 1847, the Donnell family heirs donated the 2.5-acre lot in front of the manor house as a gift to the City of Baltimore to be designated as a public park. Beginning in the 1850s the Donnell family began to work with a number of speculative builders and developers to develop the neighborhood.

In 1867, the Donnells left Willowbrook (now the site of Steuart Hill Academic Academy),and the house was given to the Sisters of the Good Shepherd which served as a convent and home for wayward girls until its demolition in the mid 1960s. The oval dining room was removed from the mansion and recreated in the Baltimore Museum of Art where it remains a part of the American Decorative Arts wing. Demolition was the catalyst for rebirth of the neighborhood, as residents organized to form the Union Square Association and receive historic district designation for the neighborhood in 1970.