This week we read that the city is overhauling its building codes for the first time in decades.  The new code bans Formstone in new construction.  Below is an article from The Baltimore Sun:

A proposed overhaul of the Baltimore’s zoning code would do just that, banning the faux stone facades on any newly constructed rowhouses. While the city says this would upgrade neighborhoods, some see it as a slap at an endearing if downscale bit of Baltimoreana — akin to prohibiting Natty Boh at the corner bar or beehive hairdos at the beauty parlor.

This news comes the same week that I was able to find historic records from the Baltimore City Archives on past permits (between 1924 and 1961) for hour house including those for its formstone.  Not only does this show us what work was [legally] performed, but when.  Since this is public info, we looked up the houses around us as well.  Here is what we found, starting with ours:

2/15/38 Alter cellar door to storm door   1090 2/15/38 40.00
9/ 8/38 Alt[er] window in side wall 7132 9/ 8/38 15.00
6/21/44 Replace 7 window and one door frame 23493 6/21/44 155.00 6/28/44
10/20/47 Er[ect] wire fence 3 1/2′ high, 64′ long 61097 10/20/47 20.00
8/24/51 Repl[ace] wood fence with [cinder block] fence 119059 8/24/51 180.00 218-220
6/ 4/52 Erect wire fence 129436 6/ 5/52 35.00
4/27/54 Apply Fieldstone 160617 4/29/54 450.00 5/25/54 fam

As you can see on here the permit to Apply Formstone (Fieldstone) was received on 4/27/1954 and the work was completed 5/25/1954″.   1954 must not have been too different around the house than it is now with all the renovations.  This is the same winter / spring from which we’ve found all of the newspapers under the floors and around the plaster.  We also find out when our bathroom window was installed – “Alt[eration] window in side wall” 9/8/38.  This reminds me, we need to get a Sun Paper to put into the walls before we close them up.

The alley next to us had its own entry in the permit office to “erect c. b. [cinder block] fence with gate” in 5/25/1954

From this page we are able to learn about our neighbors house which was listed in old maps as 3 stories, but is now only 2.  “Repair, rebuild walls, stairs, joists, floor, ???, remove 3rd fl[oor]”. from 5/5/1947.  I asked the neighbor and he thinks it was just falling apart, but I suspect a 3rd floor fire.

220 & 222 S Castle were once one lot with a stable.

At 220 next door we find the year they got their Formstone (Stone King) in ’58.  The top line is funny too and give some insights into what was on that lot 100 years ago – “Line manure pit with sheet iron – 8/25/1935