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John A. Ahlers Papers

Identifier: R0055-JAA

  • Staff Only
  • Place requests at folder level.

Scope and Contents

The John A. Ahlers Papers contains personal papers, photographs, artwork and architectural drawings for a variety of private and commercial buildings in the Baltimore area. Examples of architectural plans and materials in the collection include and drawings for homes, building alterations, churches, apartment buildings, business buildings, and other sites. There are also photographs and visual materials present in the collection documenting the Bethlehem Steel building, Northwood Apartments, portraits of Ahlers, and more.


  • 1895-1971
  • Bulk: 1935-1957


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

John Allan Ahlers was born in Oberhausen, Germany in 1895 and immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland with his parents. He trained as an architect and became a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1931. In 1930 he was assigned to create a new suburb called Northwood by Chief of the Roland Park Company, Edward Bouton. Ahlers designed the Original Northwood neighborhood in Baltimore and became its single most significant contributor of residential and commercial works. The neighborhood, Original Northwood, has greenspace and includes a mix of home styles including New England colonials, and Tudor and Norman style cottages. The neighborhood was entered as a listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

[Information for this historical note was gathered from a 1990 Baltimore Sun newspaper article].


5.42 Linear Feet (6 containers)

Language of Materials



Collection is described as an inventory.

Custodial History

John A. Ahler’s papers were kept by his daughter and son-in-law, Mary Ahlers and William Dewitt Bliss, who conveyed them to architectural historian Dean Wagner for use in his application for designation of the Northwood National Historic District. The collection was donated to the University of Baltimore by Mary Ahlers Bliss in 2006.

Finding aid for the John A. Ahlers Papers
Finding aid prepared by archives staff. Revised by Aiden Faust (2011). Revised by Laura Bell (2022).
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baltimore Studies Archives Repository

H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons, Room 104
1415 Maryland Avenue
Baltimore Maryland 21201 USA