A native of Burton-on-Trent, in England, Alfred Mason was educated in private schools and studied architecture in the United Kingdom.
Before emigrating to the U.S. in 1880, he had designed several buildings in London. He established his practice in Baltimore in 1885, working from an office in his residence at 746 (old No. 554) West Baltimore Street, an address he maintained throughout his entire career.
In addition to a broad general practice including residential, commercial, and industrial buildings, Mason developed a specialty in the design of school buildings. He had designed over 35 school buildings in Baltimore and Maryland by 1895, and a total of some 45 when he retired about 1904, giving Mason the distinction of having designed the largest number of school buildings in a single state of any architect in the country.
Although he was remembered at the time of his death as “one of the most widely celebrated architects in Baltimore a quarter of a century ago,” his obituary noted that “he had not been particularly active in his profession for a decade, and among the younger architects of the city was known generally by his work in years gone by.” Mason was “well known in fraternal circles, being a Mason and a member of the Elks.”
His funeral was held at the Fulton Avenue Baptist Church, and he is interred in the Loudon Park Cemetery.