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.


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 a unique Baltimore historic landmark! Contact John Ciekot (410-366-8533) or

  • A Day at Clifton


Help us restore and maintain Clifton Mansion! Learn more >

Upcoming Mansion Events

  • Sam Smith and the Defense of Baltimore in 1814 & Tour

    09/16/2017 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Captain Henry Thompson, Clifton's first owner and leader of the First Baltimore Horse Artillery, lived "next door" to Sam Smith's estate, Montebello. Thompson and his troop of sixty-two leading citizens of Baltimore were the personal guard for Major General Smith and scouts and messengers during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814.

    Join us to discuss Sam Smith's leadership in the Battle of Baltimore and the lessons of history!

    Meet the authors and get your book signed. Sam Smith: Star Spangled Hero is the only book in print on Sam Smith, Maryland's greatest hero of the War of 1812. It is available on in paperback. It is also available as an E Book (with 100 illustrations and 300 hyperlinks), as well as a Young Reader version (for Middle & High School ages) in paperback.

    Program at 10 a.m. Mansion Tour at 11:15
    RSVP to cliftonmansion@civicworks and pay $5 at the door.