city history>designated historic sites
Designated Historic Sites
P.G. 68-10-1 Charles H. Welsh House, 4200 Farragut St.
P.G. 68-10-16 Clarence McEwen House, 4106 Gallatin St.
P.G. 68-10-17 Frederic Augustus Holden House, 4110 Gallatin St.
P.G. 68-10-25 Harriet Ralston House, 4206 Decatur St.
P.G. 68-10-27 Lewis F. Holden House, 4112 Gallatin St.
P.G. 68-10-31 Wheelock House, 4100 Crittenden St.
P.G. 68-10-34 Benjamin F. Smith House, 5104 42nd Ave.
P.G. 68-10-65 Edgewood, 4115 Hamilton St.
P.G. 68-10-73 William A. Shepherd House, 5108 42nd Ave.
P.G. 68-10-74 Fox’s Barn, 5011 42nd Ave.
P.G. 68-76 Paxton House, 6122 42nd St.
P.G. 68-77 Dorr House, 4525 Buchanan St.
P.G. 68-10-35 Lown House, 4107 Gallatin St.
P.G. 68-41-2 Prince George’s Bank and Trust, 5214 Baltimore Ave.
The Welsh house is a two-and-one-half story frame house of four asymmetrical gabled wings. A one-story cross-gabled porch runs along the main south facade and wraps around to the west wing. The house rests on a brick foundation. Its first story has German siding; the second story had square-cut wooden shingle siding, which was removed when asbestos shingle was applied in the 1940s. The four gables have half-timbered cantilevered peaks with knee brackets, a course of vertical tongue-and-groove siding, and a lower course of fish-scale shingles. The interior, which is arranged on the front and back parlor plan typical of the period, exhibits distinctive features, such as the interior vestibule, and retains most of its original detail, including woodwork and mantels.
The Welsh house is a fine example of a late Victorian house with strong Queen Anne elements. It was built 1889-90 for Charles H. Welsh, a banker who was instrumental in Hyattsville’s development. Welsh was one of the founders in 1887 of the Hyattsville Building Association which financed much of Hyattsville’s early development. Although the house had deteriorated prior to 1984, there was little interior or exterior alteration. Its location on a corner lot within the National Register Historic District of Hyattsville makes it a prominent landmark: a Victorian town dwelling with strong Queen Anne detail.
The McEwen House is a large front-gabled house with fine Queen Anne style decorative detail. It was built in 1887 from a mail-order design in an urban residential lot in the newly platted town of Hyattsville. The house consists of a two-and-one-half story gable-roof main block, with a slightly lower rear kitchen wing. The main block is four bays by three, with entrance in the first bay of the five-bay main south gable front. Across the south gable front is a one-story hip-roof porch supported by turned bracketed posts. The surfaces of the house exhibit considerable variety of decoration: the first story is sided with narrow horizontal boards, the second story with fish-scale shingle, and the loft level and upper gable ends are decorated with applied geometric and ramiform paneling. The east and west elevations are varied by projecting semi-octagonal bays. Windows are generally 1/1 double hung sash, with colored border lights in the upper sashes.
The McEwen House is a fine example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture. It is distinguished by considerable variation in surface detail, window treatment and projecting bays. It was built in 1887 by Clarence McEwen who bought a house plan produced by the Cooperative Building Plan Association of New York (R.W. Shoppell’s Design No. 444). With a few alterations, he built a large front-gabled frame dwelling, with fine Queen Anne style decorative detail, ornamental wall surfacing, window treatment, and projecting bays. McEwen served as a Town Commissioner in Hyattsville in 1888, but two years later lost his property through default in mortgage payments. When the property was sold at the turn of the century, it was described as “one of the best if not the best houses in Hyattsville.” The house incorporates fine detail in its surface paneling, window treatment, and projecting bays. It embodies many distinctive characteristics of the Queen Anne/Victorian style, and is a noticeable landmark in the town of Hyattsville.
The F.A. Holden House is a two-story frame house with a “t” shaped plan and a complex roof line. The house stands on a town lot, in the Hyattsville National Register Historic District. It is notable for its steeply pitched roof, two-story, semi-octagonal east bay, decorative features such as crossed trusses in the gables and gable dormers, and saw-toothed vertical siding in the upper gables. The main facade’s entrance is in the third bay through a double door with a stained glass transom. The two windows to the west of the entrance are floor-to-ceiling double casement windows surmounted by stained glass transoms, flanked by louvered shutters. The first story is sheltered by a three bay, hipped roof porch which wraps around the east and west sides of the building. Some second story windows are 2/2 double hung wooden sash with segmental arched heads. The four bay east facade is dominated by a two story semi-octagonal bays projecting from beneath a cross gable.
The Frederic A. Holden House is an outstanding example of vernacular stick style Victorian architecture. Particularly notable are the scissors trusses decorating the cornices of the gables and dormer ends. This Holden house was built in 1883 for Frederic Augustus Holden, a bureaucrat in the Federal Government’s General Land Office and a Hyattsville Town Commissioner shortly after the town’s incorporation in 1886. The house was one of the first built in Wine and Johnson’s First Addition to Hyattsville. It was built by George N. Walker, an active contractor and builder in Hyattsville.
The Harriet Ralston House is a three-story front-gabled frame retreat cottage which stands on one of the original streets platted for the Town of Hyattsville. It is distinguished by its fine late Victorian trim and its prominent three story veranda. The house is three stories high, two bays by two bays, with principal entrance and three-story veranda on the main south gable front. Entrance is in the eastmost bay of this south gable end, through a four-panel door with two-pane transom. Filling the entire south gable front is a three-story veranda supported by chamfered posts with molded capitals and bases, and jigsawn brackets on the first story. Bounding the first and second stories of the veranda is a railing of flat jigsawn balusters. There are three openings onto the second story of the veranda; a central door with a single-pane transom is flanked by two 2/2 windows. The same chamfered posts are still visible at the third level in the gable end. The house is sheathed with German siding. At the intermediate level in the east facade is a circular “porthole” window which lights the stair.
The Harriet Ralston House is a fine and unique example of a late Victorian suburban retreat cottage; it is distinguished by its excellent Queen Anne style trim, and its prominent three-story veranda. It was build in the 1880s on one of the original lots platted in the Town of Hyattsville. In 1882, Harriet Ralston, widow of Judge James H. Ralston, purchased Lot #26 of Hyatts Addition to Hyattsville, and a few months later purchased Lots #27 and #28 which adjoined it to the east. It is probable that this house was constructed soon after Mrs. Ralston’s purchase, Within a few years, “Wing Rest”, a second fine Queen Anne style house was built on Lot #26, and it became the home of Mrs. Ralston’s son, Jackson H. Ralston, one of early Hyattsville’s most prominent civic leaders.
The Lewis F. Holden House is a two-and-one-half story frame house which stands on one of the lots of the town of Hyattsville. It is basically square, with asymmetrical gables and bays varying the lines. The main facade is to the south, with entrance in the second bay. The easterly half of the south facade is filled with a two-story projecting semi-octagonal bay. Above the hip roof of the projecting bay, a steeply pitched gable dormer pierces the south plane of the roof; its gable end is decorated with geometric paneling. The entire south facade is sheltered by a one-story hip-roof porch which wraps around and shelters part of the east facade; the principal opening in the porch is surmounted by a steeply pitched pediment ornamented with applied geometric paneling. The house is sheathed with German siding. The wall surfaces are varied by other details, including a pyramidal roofed oriel window, and a sleeping porch highlighted by a spindle frieze.
This Holden House is an excellent example of a suburban cottage with abundant Queen Anne style decorative detail. It stands on part of two lots in Wine and Johnson’s First Addition to Hyattsville, platted in 1882. It was built by Lewis F. Holden, a bookbinder, in 1897, very likely from a pattern-book design. It is a spacious, frame house whose lines are varied by gables, projecting bays, and an oriel window, and whose surfaces are enlivened by a variety of paneling. A nearly identical house, built on the same design, was erected in Riverdale Park fifteen years later. In 1905 Holden sold the house to William Wolfe Smith, who soon defaulted on his mortgage. In 1908, his creditors required the sale of the property, “improved by a fine residence, with seven rooms, bath, attic, etc., formerly occupied by William Wolfe Smith . . . . . in the best residential part of Hyattsville.” It is a noticeable landmark in the late Victorian residential area of Hyattsville.
The Wheelock House is a 2-1/2 cross-gabled building of wood frame construction. It is distinguished by its decorative details and the details of its porch, as well as its prominent location on one of the main streets in the community of Hyattsville. Behind the front-gabled main block is a rear cross-gabled section, flush with the main block on the west side, and projecting as a shallow cross-gabled wing on the east. Entrance is in the third bay of the principal south facade, sheltered by a one-story, hip-roof porch with turned posts and a plain balustrade with matching frieze. The porch wraps around the east side of the house. Surmounting the principal facade, a boxed cornice forms a pediment which is sided with fish scale shingles; all other gables are similarly pedimented, and sided with fish scale shingles. The house is sheathed with German wood siding which is coated with “liquid siding.”
The Wheelock House is a good example of late Victorian domestic architecture. It stands on a lot in Hyatt’s Addition to Hyattsville, the earliest (1873) subdivision of the community that became the City of Hyattsville. This land was re-subdivided in 1902 by Dr. Charles A. Wells, a physician and developer of Hyattsville. In 1905 Wells sold this lot to Charles C. Wheelock, and in the same year Wheelock built the handsome frame house with its principal pedimented facade reminiscent of earlier Greek Revival style urban dwellings. The house is a visible and prominent landmark in the town of Hyattsville.
Built in the 1880s, the Benjamin F. Smith House is a 2-story frame dwelling of the gable-front-and-wing-plan, with two 2-story projecting bays on the south side elevation. It was built in the late 1880s by Benjamin and Frances Smith on lots which front on the principal residental street in Victorian Hyattsville. Smith, of Washington, D.C., purchased Lot #6 on Wine Avenue in March 1883. He paid $340. for this unimproved lot. Within a few months of his purchase of Lot #6, Smith executed a mortgage to secure payment of his $1200 debt; it is almost certainly at this time that he began construction of a dwelling. The house which he built was at first assessed at a value of $800 indicating a modest building, possibly just the southerly front-gabled section of the present house.
About 1887, Smith enlarged and embellished his dwelling, probably adding the northerly cross-gable wing which now houses the handsome stair hall. It was probably during this period also that Smith added the two southerly two-story bays which light the south parlors. In spite of several changes over the years, this house exhibits many early and handsome features, both interior and exterior. It is a good representative of a late Victorian urban dwelling, reflecting the development of the suburbs of the late nineteenth century. Prominently located on one of Victorian Hyattsville’s principal streets, the Benjamin Smith House is an established and familiar visual feature of the community.
Edgewood is a two-and-one-half-story frame cross-gabled house which stands on one of the lots in the town of Hyattsville. The house consists of an L-shaped main block with a kitchen wing extending to the south. The north facade is dominated by an upper gable decorated with applied geometric paneling; entrance is immediately west of the principal gable, inset in the west arm of the ell. The paneled door is partly glazed, with muntins arranged in an X pattern, as they are also in the sidelights and transom. A one-story hip-roof porch shelters the north entrance, filling the dormer formed by the ell, and wrapping around the front gable. The porch has turned posts with stick brackets which repeat the geometric pattern of the north gable, and is bounded by a balustrade of criss-cross members in an X pattern. Extending to the south, flush with the west gable end of the ell is a two-and-one-half story gable-roof kitchen wing.
Edgewood is a good example of the late Victorian houses which were being built in the developing suburbs of Washington, D.C. at the end of the nineteenth century. It stands on one of the original lots in the 1882 subdivision known as “Wine and Johnson’s First Addition to Hyattsville.” In 1888 developers Wine and Johnson sold to Mary Tricon four unimproved lots in the subdivision, and within a year the Tricon family had an L-shaped frame dwelling constructed. After the death of her husband, Mary Tricon sold the house and lots (in 1901) to Matthew Halloran, who added the rear kitchen wing. Matthew Halloran served as Mayor of Hyattsville (1919-20), and his family lived in this house until 1940. The house exemplifies the development of suburban communities of the late nineteenth century.
The William A. Shepherd house is a two-story gable roof frame Victorian dwelling of two-by-three bays. It has an octagonal three-story tower surmounted by a pyramidal cap at the northeast corner, and a wrap-around entrance porch. It stands on a small town lot on the west side of 42nd Avenue in Hyattsville. The two-bay east main elevation has entry in the south bay through a decorative six-panel door. The main elevation is surmounted by an enclosed pediment with a central window at attic level. The eaves are flaired and deeply overhanging between second and third story level.
This house is significant for its turn-of-the-century suburban vernacular architecture, influenced by the Queen Anne style. Elements of the Queen Anne style include the three-story octagonal tower and belled or flaired eaves with bracketing, enclosing gables on each elevation of the house. The open-work cornice and jigsawn brackets on the wrap-around entry porch are further Queen Anne style decorative elements. The dwelling was constructed in 1906, when Albert Behrend sold Lot 8 in Block B of Wine and Johnson’s First Addition to Hyattsville to William A. Shepherd. Due to the limited number of owners, the house contains much original material including the plaster, doors, hardware, and wood moldings. It is a strong contributing member to the Hyattsville National Register District.
Fox’s Barn is a two-and-one-half story, frame gambrel-roof dwelling which stands on one of the original platted streets of the 1882 subdivision of Hyattsville. It is distinguished by its inset porch, hip dormers and cypress shingle siding. It is roughly square in plan, four irregular bays by three; all surfaces are covered with cypress shingles painted brown. Entrance is in the third bay of the main west facade, and is sheltered by a porch which is inset beneath the second story, and which extends the total width of the main west facade. Windows are generally 12/1 or 9/1 double hung sash with plain board surrounds. There are two hip dormers in each of the west and east lower planes of the gambrel roof. The roof, which is covered with brown asphalt shingle, has a deep overhang; the wainscot soffit is painted beige. One large brick chimney rises at the center of the ridge. Interior plan consists of four principal spaces. The main entrance leads into the southwest space which consists of a spacious stair hall; the open-strong, three-run stair rises in the southwest corner along the south wall. Surrounds of doors and windows are original; in the four bedrooms on the second story, spindle friezes adorn the dormer alcoves.
Fox’s Barn is a good example of a late Victorian cottage dwelling; it is one of the earliest houses built in the residential subdivision of Hyattsville. It is distinguished by its somewhat unusual gambrel-roof profile, and its cypress shingle siding, making it a noticeable landmark in its immediate surroundings. It was built for Gilbert and Marian Fox in 1892, was the home for a quarter century of T. Hammond Welsh, one of Hyattsville’s leading citizens. The house reflects the development of the suburbs of the late nineteenth century, and remains an established and attractive visual feature of the Victorian residential section of Hyattsville.
The Paxton House is a front-gable, frame Victorian vernacular dwelling with distinctive ornamental shingle decoration in the principal gable. The house stands on a large town lot together with two concrete-block accessory buildings. The house and the property’s two secondary buildings share a single paint scheme- walls painted khaki green with ivory trim.
The Paxton House is a good example of a late Victorian suburban dwelling with vernacular ornamental details. The house is distinguished by its large size and the shingle-style decoration in the principal gable front, both of which make it a noticeable feature in this neighborhood just north of the older part of Hyattsville.
The Dorr house is two-and-one-half stories high with a hip roof; it is three bays by two, and of roughly square plan. Entrance is in the third bay of the principal north facade through a door that is surmounted by a double segmental arch of brick. The wooden door is old but not original to the house; the door has a round leaded window with some colored lights over five molded panels. There is neither transom nor sidelight. The building’s north facade is sheltered by a one-story facade-wide porch with a shallow hip roof, supported by four tapered square wooden posts resting on a molded concrete block parapet. This porch was apparently added some time after the house was constructed, judging from the brickwork above the door (and the recollections of family members). The cornice of the porch roof has a deep overhang, and crown molding.
The Dorr House is an important landmark in the part of Hyattsville that lies east of Baltimore Boulevard. It was built, probably circa 1908, for the family of William, A. Dorr. Constructed of a combination of brick and molded concrete block with quoin-like corner patterns, it has a distinctive and unusual appearance, and is a visible landmark in its neighborhood.
The W.G. Lown House is a large two-story gable roof frame dwelling of irregular plan, set on a small knoll, facing north in the 4100 block of Gallatin Street within the Hyattsville National Register Historic District. The house dates to 1891, and is characterized by its steeply pitched, cross-gabled roof. The house is sided with narrow lapped wood siding with corner boards. It is roofed with black asphalt shingle and rests on a brick foundation.
The W.G. Lown House is significant as a large, fine example of a Victorian suburban dwelling. It has been the home of several prominent residents of Hyattsville since its construction in 1890. William G. Lown purchased Lots 34 through 37 of Wine and Johnson’s First Addition to Hyattsville in 1890. The large house that stands upon these combined lots was constructed soon afterwards at a cost of approximately $2,000. Lown was a coffee roaster and coffee and tea wholesaler, whose business, called the Greenleaf Coffee and Spice Mills, was located at 7th and C Streets, S.W. in Washington, D.C.
The Prince George’s Bank Building, 5214 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville is a prominent early-twentieth-century commercial building of monumental scale in the Beaux Arts Neo-Classical Style. The over-scaled one-story building is sheathed with Bedford limestone (over a brick structural system) and the main block of the building rests on a gray granite base. The building fronts on Baltimore Avenue and occupies the southwest corner of the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Hamilton Street. The Baltimore Avenue façade is dominated by a monumental entry portal that features projecting granite planters and steps, two large Ionic columns, and a recessed entry. The Baltimore Avenue façade and the Hamilton Street elevation are surmounted by a simply molded cornice with a plain frieze and dentil molding. The building’s roof is concealed by a simple horizontal parapet that projects slightly above the Baltimore Avenue entry portal.
The Prince George’s Bank building at 5214 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, is a prominent landmark within the Hyattsville commercial corridor. The Neo-classical Revival style structure on the west side of Baltimore Avenue (US Route 1) at Hamilton Street was completed in 1926 as the headquarters for the Prince George’s County Bank and Trust Company. The Prince George’s Bank Building is currently the headquarters of Minority Access, a non-profit educational organization.