The Clifton Mansion

Clifton Mansion serves as the headquarters for Civic Works’ community service programs and as an important resource for the neighborhoods surrounding Clifton Park. For over 200 years, Clifton Mansion has anchored the Clifton Park communities. Now care of the Mansion is stewarded through Civic Works, with large scale restoration work being conducted by the Friends of Clifton Mansion.


The Clifton Mansion was originally built in 1802 as a Georgian style stone mansion, by Baltimore merchant Henry Thompson, who served as Captain of the First Baltimore Horse Artillery in the War of 1812. The building was later purchased by famed philanthropist Johns Hopkins, who transformed the mansion into a Victorian era Italian villa that served as his summer estate.

Clifton Mansion features an eighty-foot tower with a commanding view of Baltimore, an extensive porch arcade (row of arches) which wraps around three sides of the building. The entrance hall featuring a black walnut grand staircase, marble floor, intricate plasterwork, and ornate hand painted ceilings and walls, featuring a mural of the Bay of Naples.

The City of Baltimore purchased Clifton Mansion and its grounds in 1895 from Johns Hopkins University. It has been put to many uses ever since, including a headquarters for the Department of Recreation and Parks, and the clubhouse for the golf course. Although the Clifton Mansion fell into considerable disrepair during its years of transition, the building is being carefully restored by Civic Works and the Friends of Clifton Mansion. Renovation of the mansion will ensure the future of this Baltimore landmark and will also enhance the capacity of Civic Works’ programs.

Learn more about this unique Baltimore historic landmark! Contact John Ciekot (410-366-8533) or You can also learn more about becoming a volunteer at Clifton Mansion.

Enslaved People at Clifton

Enslaved people were forced to live and work on the Clifton estate. Both Henry Thompson and Johns Hopkins benefited from the forced labor of enslaved people. They also profited from the local and national systems of slavery.

We honor the people who were enslaved at Clifton. Reuben, Bill, Kitty, Jacob, Sarah, Chester, Lewis, Matilda, Annis, Isaac, Jim, Maria, Essex, Maria, Harriet, Bill, and other people whose names we do not know, lived on the grounds and were forced to maintain the mansion and the surrounding land.

We are continuing to research this early period in Clifton’s history and create materials and exhibits that acknowledge the experiences of people enslaved at Clifton Mansion.

  • A Day at Clifton

Click here to rent mansion for your event.

Make your special event all the more exciting by having it at the historic Clifton Mansion! Rent Clifton for your wedding, family reunion, corporate event, or other special occasion, and support Civic Works’ stewardship of this historic structure. For more information, contact Natrina Lee at

Upcoming Clifton Mansion Events

Saturday, August 20th from 10am – 11am (Click here to register)

Saturday, September 17th from 10am – 11am (Click here to register)

Saturday, October 22nd from 10am – 11am (Click here to register)

Saturday, November 19th from 10am – 11am (Click here to register)

In-person Mansion Tour ($10)

2701 St. Lo Drive, Baltimore, MD 21213

Join us for a tour inside Clifton Mansion, the unique Italianate country house that has overlooked Baltimore City for over 200 years! At one time the summer home of War of 1812 captain Henry Thompson and then philanthropist Johns Hopkins, the story of Clifton Estate is one about two prominent businessmen, enslaved & free Black people, and so much more. You’ll see the latest restorations made possible by the Friends of Clifton Mansion and Civic Works. You will also be invited into unrestored spaces that are brimming with stories to tell! And the tour wouldn’t be complete without climbing the tower and taking in one-of-a-kind views of Clifton Park and our surrounding city. We hope to see you there!

The Clifton Mansion Legacy Team is committed to sharing the story of Clifton Mansion and is excited about working with Baltimore Heritage to do that..

What they’re saying about Clifton Mansion

Absolutely beautiful mansion with a lot of history! The staff are really great too. Perfect for any wedding or event and the proceeds go to a great cause. 10/10 recommend!!!!” – 1 month ago

“Sharp Dressed Man held their annual Holiday Party at the mansion this year and it was absolutely stunning. Andrea and Jayna were super helpful and attentive! Our guests enjoyed the historical atmosphere and tours provided by the Mansions knowledgeable tour guides! Will definitely be booking our events here in the future! Kudos to this gorgeous facility!!” – 6 months ago

Totally blown away. This gem right in Baltimore. You have to visit this place. So much history here. Very awesome.” – 6 months ago