The Roland Park Shopping Center was built in the mid-1890s by the Roland Park Company and designed by the Baltimore architectural firm of Wyatt and Nolting. Originally housing five retail units on the ground floor with four large apartments and a community room above, the shopping center was centrally located in the Roland Park residential tract to provide basic commercial services. As such, it is one of the earliest shopping centers in the United States. Developer Edward H. Bouton knew that commercial buildings were considered unwelcome intrusions in residential neighborhoods, even though local shopping would be a convenience. He carefully chose merchants, such as a grocer, a pharmacist, and a confectioner, who would cater to an upper-class clientele. The steeply pitched roof, half-timbered cross gables, and shaped end gables give the shopping center a fanciful Tudor Revival country house appearance that belies its very modern and practical function in the community. It was built with a landscaped front lawn that was later converted into a parking lot and the whole structure served as a buffer between a small trolley barn and the Plat 1 houses east of Roland Avenue.
Longstreth, Richard. “The Neighborhood Shopping Center in Washington, D.C., 1930-1941.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians51, no. 1 (March 1992): 5-34.