Historic Structures

Gunther Brewing Company - Hamms, Baltimore Maryland

Though the president of the Gunther Brewing Company at its founding in 1900 was George Gunther, Jr., the force behind the operation seems to have been his father. George Gunther, Sr., whose last name was originally spelled Guenther, had been involved in brewing in the area for more than twenty years after arriving from Germany in 1866. Gunther worked to sweeten dank cellars at the northeast corner of Conkling and O'Donnell Streets in the early 1870s, joining Christian Gehl's brewery in 1878 and working in the brewery that stood on Conkling Street to the north of the current Gunther complex. Gehl had established his brewery in 1876 in connection with a set of earlier lagering cellars dating to the proprietorship of Conrad Herzog, who first leased the land in 1857. Contractors dug the cellars for Herzog, who then rented them to brewers including George Rossmarck. George Gunther took over the Gehl brewery in 1880, and after a fire built a new brick brewery in 1887. Otto Wolf, a noted Philadelphia brewery architect, designed the structure (now gone). Gunther continued the firm until 1899, when he sold his operation to the Maryland Brewing Company, the brewing trust. The trust continued to operate the brewery, as did the successor G.B.S. Brewing Co., which ran the plant as its Bay View Branch. Because he had agreed not to brew again under his name, Gunther's reentry into the industry with a new brewery required him to use his son's name when he established a new firm. The George Gunther, Jr. Brewing Company was erected on the northeast corner of Conkling and Toone Streets, at the south end of the same block as its namesake. Workers broke ground on February 10, 1900, and again Wolf was the architect, designing the Romanesque Revival style brewhouse that continues to occupy the corner site. Also in the complex were a stable for teams that pulled delivery wagons, a boiler house, a shop, and an office, all of which remain in some form. Buildings lined the perimeter of the site, forming a keg yard in the center where loading and unloading took place. The Boiler House heated the brew kettles, and more importantly, powered the ice machines that cooled the lagering tanks now stored above ground. The brewery's railroad siding allowed delivery of grains, which were raised to the top of the complex where they were milled in preparation for malting.

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Sears Department Store Building, Washington DC

The Sears, Roebuck & Company department store, designed and built in 1940-41, is highly significant to the architectural and cultural heritage of the nation's capital. Designed by the Sears company's chief architect John Stokes Redden and store planner John G. Raben. It is among Washington's earliest and most significant examples of modern commercial architecture, illustrating the revolutionary impact of the Modernist design philosophy of functional expressionism on the historicism that constituted Washington's dominant architectural idiom; in conception and execution, the building anticipated the modern revolution which transformed the city after the war. It embodies significant innovations made by an influential national retailer in the development of modern department store design, including a windowless and upside down layout--a major customer entry from roof parking. The Sears department store also exemplifies significant national trends in the development of modern merchandising, including the decentralization of major retail centers to suburban locations, the integration of automobile parking and services into shopping facility design, the reformulation of department store layout to accommodate modern climate control systems and merchandising techniques, and the expression of practical modernity as a basis for customer appeal. This Sears building ranks among the most innovative stores realized during the seminal period of development by a company that has had significant impact on twentieth century retailing practices in the United States. By the mid-1920s, Sears had expanded beyond its mail-order beginnings to enter the retail market, guided by retired General Robert E. Wood, a veteran of Army supply operations. The company's initial outlets resembled warehouses, but by the early 1930s, Sears began to develop a more sophisticated national merchandising strategy. Stores were classified according to market size, with corresponding facilities and selections of merchandise. Sears first commissioned outside architects, but by the end of the 1930s, its own in-house planning and construction departments created complete new prototypes of modern store layout and design.

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Godlington Manor, Chestertown Maryland

The old house on Godlington Manor, patented to Thomas Godlington, a London merchant, in 1659, is significant as a tract of land, originally 1,000 acres, owned at the end of the seventeenth century by Michael Miller, a large landowner, whose lineal descendants still owned and lived on the property in the 1970s. Godlington's gambrel roof section constructed in the late eighteenth century was one of several houses on the manor tract. It is doubtful that Michael Miller or his son, Arthur, or grandson, Arthur, lived in the extant house. In 1747 the land on which the house stands was rented to John Jordan and then to Bartus Wilkins, a ship carpenter. After 1768 when the land returned to Arthur Miller's possession the same tract (although ten acres smaller) was conveyed to his daughter Sarah Miller Merritt and to her daughter Mary Ann Merritt who later married Robert Anderson. After Sarah Merritt, the mother, died in 1783, the tract, according to the terms of the original deed, would have become the property of her daughter, Mary Ann. A 1799 land transaction indicates the possibility that Mary Ann Merritt Anderson, Arthur Miller's granddaughter, lived in the extant house. She and her husband by 1799 residents of Chestertown sold the tract and the old house to her brother Samuel Merritt, son of Sarah Miller Merritt, who already owned the remainder of the Godlington Manor tract which he had inherited from his grandfather, Arthur Miller, in 1790.

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Seneca Glass Company, Morgantown West Virginia

Seneca Glass Company was founded by a group of immigrant German glassblowers. Natives of the district of Baden in southern Germany, many of these men had previously been employed at the North Cumberland Glass Company in Cumberland, Maryland. In 1891, they met in Cumberland to form their own corporation and subsequently purchased, for $10,000, the plant of the Fostoria Glass Company, at Fostoria, Ohio (Fostoria Glass had moved to Moundsville, West Virginia). The new company flourished from the beginning but was soon faced with the threat of a fuel shortage. In 1896, the directors decided to relocate their plant near a plentiful supply of natural gas and decided upon Morgantown. The new plant began production in January 1897 and continued until the companys bankrupcy in 1983. The plant operated using essentially the same machinery and process with which it began in 1897 until it closed. The glass was still produced from the original 14-pot furnace by shops or teams of men in much the same manner as it was in 1897. Senenca Glass was the first company to locate in Morgantown. At the turn of the century, when transportation facilities were only crudely developed, the discovery of the nearby Mannington oil and gas field was of considerable importance in attracting new industries. In the 16 years following the move of Seneca, nine other glass plants located in Morgantown. These developments (along with that of the coal industry in the area) brought industrial processes with all their social and economic ramifications to what had been primarily an agricultural region.

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Mad River Glen Ski Lift, Fayston Vermont

The Mad River Glen Cooperative in Fayston, Vermont, is the home of the Single Chair Ski Lift, also known as Chair #1. The longest operating single chair ski lift still in its original location in North America, it is a historical treasure for the ski industry. The ski area is located on the northeast slope of General Stark Mountain in central Vermont. The tramway division of the American Steel and Wire Company designed and installed the Single Chair Ski Lift, a patented aerial ski tramway, in 1947. At the base of the ski lift is a bottom Drive Terminal (1600' elevation) that drives a wire rope up the mountain to a top Tension Terminal (3570' elevation). The bottom Drive Terminal features a large 10' diameter cast iron bullwheel that pulls the 1 1/8 diameter steel cable. An Allis-Chalmers diesel engine, located in the Vault Motor Room in the basement, drives the bullwheel. The Vault Motor Room is a reinforced concrete and steel structure built into a slope directly below an open, wood frame structure that houses the drive bullwheel assembly. This room contains an Allis-Chalmers diesel engine, a secondary General Motors diesel engine, a belt drive system, reduction gear shafting, a vertical drive shaft set into beveled gears, and a disc brake system, as well as a concrete counterweight connected to an hydraulic brake system located in the rear of the Vault Motor Room. The Operator's Room is a two-story, wood frame structure located at ground level above the Vault Motor Room, on the south side of the Drive Terminal. The main upstairs Operator's Room contains several instruments used for running the lift drive system. To engage the diesel engine, there is an upper throttle and torque converter switch on the south wall (facing the lift line), which connects to a wire that runs through a magnetic solenoid that can stop the throttle through the emergency brake (e-brake). To run the chairlift, the operator first starts the diesel engine in the Vault Motor Room. He then puts the lift in drive by engaging the torque converter upstairs, and then pulls down the upper throttle, which activates the throttle on the motor.

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Labrot and Grahams Oscar Pepper - Old Crow - Distillery, Versailles Kentucky

Born about 1775 in Fauquier, Virginia, Elijah Pepper followed his family to Kentucky in 1797. He first established a distillery with his brother-in-law at the Big Spring behind the Woodford County Courthouse in Versailles. Bourbon County tax records and the census of 1810 show that he moved there for a three year period before returning to Woodford County. Elijah and his wife Sarah were between the ages 26 and 45 in 1810, and they had seven children (four boys) and nine black slaves. By 1812 Elijah was paying tax on 200 acres of property along Glenn's Creek where he established his grist mill and distillery. Clear title to the property was not established until 1821 and the deed recorded the following year. He selected the Grassy Springs Branch of the Creek for its waterway through limestone cliffs and three springs that bubbled out of the banks of the creek. Census records of 1820 confirm that the Pepper family are living in Woodford County and both are over 45 years old. Their family has not grown but their slave holdings have increased to 12. Five members of the household are involved with agriculture. Ten years later the 1830 census confirms the success of Pepper's farmstead by the documentation of 13 male and 12 female slaves. Before March 20, 1831 Elijah Pepper died. The extent of his agricultural and distilling business is clarified by his inventory that lists hemp on hand and 8 acres ready to break, flax and flax seed, wheat, rye, 41 barrels of whiskey (1560 gallons), 6 stills, 74 mash tubs, kegs, stands, 22 horses, 113 hogs, 95 sheep, 30 lambs, and over 30 different types of cattle. Farming and timbering equipment is numerous. Household possessions include carpeting, silver, and furnishings that show wealth. No details of the interior of the house or out buildings are provided. The list of possessions sold show that his wife Sarah purchased much farm and distillery equipment, including stills and tubs etc. in still house. Since Sarah inherited the property, she presumably continued the business with the help of her eldest son Oscar, who eventually took it over.

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Boston Beer Company (Original), Boston Massachusetts

The Boston Beer Company (not associated with the company founded in 1985 that produces Sam Adams) has been associated with the present site since the company was chartered in 1828. In August 1828, Benjamin Thaxter conveyed to the Boston Beer Company a parcel of land, which Thaxter had acquired in July and August of 1828. It was explained in the deed that Baxter had purchased this land with money provided by a group of subscribers who established a fund for erecting and carrying on a brewery of malt liquors at South Boston. Thaxter was to hold the land until such time as they were incorporated, at which time Thaxter would convey the land to the subscribers in their corporate capacity. The subscribers, including Gamaliel Bradford, Nathan Rice, Benjamin Thaxter and Elijah Loring, had been incorporated as The Boston Beer Company on February 1, 1828 for the purpose of manufacturing malt liquors in all their varieties, in the City of Boston. They were authorized to hold real estate not to exceed $50,000 in value and personal estate not to exceed $100,000. The parcel conveyed by Thaxter included two lots, one of which comprises the eastern portion of the present site at the corner of Second and D streets in South Boston. The first was a rectangular lot, which extended west 186 feet from the corner of Second and D Streets and was 90 feet deep. The second lot extended north from the first, running across Second Street and out to the sea. This lot presently runs between West Second and West First streets and is occupied by trailers. Two additional adjoining lots are part of the present Boston Beer Company parcel. One lot purchased in 1828 extended the parcel 27 feet to the west and added 10 feet to the depth of the lot along the south border so that it increased from 90 to 100 feet in depth. An additional lot acquired in 1845 expanded the parcel 30 feet to the west. No deeds were located that would indicate that the property was sold at any time between 1800 and 1899, suggesting that the Boston Beer Company was the continuous owner of this parcel from 1828 until 1957. Peter Stott's research indicated that the first brewery built on this site was built circa 1851 for Henry F. Cox & Co. brewery. (Stott) In the 1851 directory, Henry F. Cox & Co. is listed under brewers at 2d near D Street and James L. Phipps is listed next to the company name, suggesting he was the manager or a partner of the company. Henry Cox's involvement was short lived, and by 1856, J.L. Phipps & Co. is listed under brewers at 147 2nd Street. By 1858, the address had changed to 149 2nd Street. Phipps & Co. appears at this address through 1860, but in 1861, Henry Souther (Phipps' brother-in-law) is listed under brewers at 149 2nd Street and must have taken over the company. However, by 1863, Souther had apparently moved his operation to 2nd cor. H Street (later 528 2nd Street) where he remained into the 1870s. That company continued under several names including Bay State Brewery, Jones, Johnson & Co., Jones, Cook & Co., and finally Frank Jones Brewing Company until it closed in 1903.

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Scotland Mansion, Frankfort Kentucky

The imposing Greek Revival mansion, located off Versailles Road, five miles east of Frankfort, was built between 1845 and 1847 by Robert Wilmot Scott, a prominent lawyer, politician, and innovative farmer and stock raiser. He as?as aisĀ© instrumental in establishing the Kentucky public school and constructed the first common school in the State on his estate. The land on which the house was built had been the estate of Martin D. Hardin (1780-1823), another eminent lawyer and politician. Later owners of the property include Horatio P. Mason, a famous contractor and engineer; and Colonel J. Swigert Taylor, a respected Frankfort distiller and thoroughbred horse breeder. Scotland, as it is now called, is the largest Greek Revival house in Franklin County, and one of the largest in Kentucky. Its imposing bulk is well-known to motorists driving on Interstate Route 64, the present main connector between Louisville at the Falls of the Ohio River and Lexington in the heart of the Bluegrass region of Central Kentucky. The house, surrounded by aged trees, lies at the top of a knoll several hundred feet south of the highway just east of the Frankfort interchange. The extensive property is entered off the road between Frankfort and Versailles, Woodford County, where it passes under I-64 half-a-mile west of the house. The present rear of the property abuts on the Old Frankfort Pike, a narrow scenic road now seldom used but once a major thoroughfare linking the State capital with Lexington, the Athens of the West. Before I-64 was routed across the north side of the property, the house was approached from the old Leestown Road (now 421), which has, however, changed its course several times in the last century-and-a-half. By the mid-19th century, the early L & N Railroad had already been located between the house at the Leestown Road. Thus the mansion has always faced at least one major transportation route and the property has been defined by others; the apparently unfortunate proximity of I-64 is, therefore, only an extension of a feature in fact boasted about by Robert Wilmot Scott, the builder of the house, in an advertisement for the sale of the property, he personally prepared in 1871. The Louisville and Lexington Railroad, and the State road from Frankfort to Lexington, pass through it, under the same lines of fence affording a commanding front view of the principal dwelling-house and adjacent grounds; the Frankfort and Versailles Turnpike is on the western boundary; Ducker Depot is within a mile and a half, and thus easy access is had, from all directions, it being five miles from Frankfort, nineteen from Lexington, and seventy from Louisville.

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Roselawn - Owsley House, Danville Kentucky

Roselawn was the last home for William Owsley, Congressman, Governor of Kentucky, and Associate Justice on the State Court of Appeals. Owsley, born in Virginia in 1782, came to Lincoln County, Kentucky, as a child. He studied law under Chief Justice of the State Court of Appeals John Boyle and, after obtaining his license, began to practice law in Garrard County. He was elected to the State Legislature and shortly thereafter (1812) was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Scott. In 1828 Owsley retired from the Court and returned to his home in Garrard County, Pleasant Retreat (listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975), to practice law. He sold the house and moved to Frankfort in 1837. The next year he purchased the property on which Roselawn was to be built, and established his son-in-law, Clifton Rodes, and family there. There was apparently a dwelling on the property at the time Owsley bought it, but neither this fact nor the nature of the dwelling can be substantiated. The existing dwelling reputedly burned in 1847, and the Rodes family moved to Danville. In the meantime, Owsley won the 1844 election for the Governor of Kentucky. He moved to Roselawn, built for his retirement, when his term ended in 1848 and lived there until he died in 1862. Roselawn is a two-story, five-bay, brick house situated in the gently rolling terrain of the Bluegrass Region in northeastern Boyle County, Kentucky. It is located about a mile and a half northwest of Danville on the east side of U.S. 127 (Harrodsburg Road), and about two miles from the Mercer County line. The house, which faces southward, is set back from the highway lying to its west and sits on the northern edge of a broad, flattened knoll amidst a grove of mature trees.

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Rochester-Cecil House - Melrose, Danville Kentucky

The history of Melrose is closely linked with that of the adjoining farm, Roselawn, which was the home of Kentucky Governor William Owsley between 1844 and 1848. Owsley lived at Roselawn following his tenure as governor although he had purchased the property in 1838. This purchase did not include the tract upon which Melrose stands, but the governor's son, Erasmus Boyle Owsley, enlarged the holdings associated with Roselawn during the 1840s by accumulating many smaller surrounding tracts. In 1845, William and Erasmus Owsley sold three hundred acres, including the land on which Melrose was to be built, to the governor's son-in-law, Albert Gallatin Talbot. Talbot was an influential politician in his own right, and won a seat to the state legislature in 1850. Upon his 1855 election to U.S. Congress, Talbot sold this property, which he had named Melrose, to Charles Hannah Rochester, Sr. Rochester had the house built shortly thereafter. The property was sold at auction upon Rochester's death in 1863 and passed through several hands until acquired by Granville Cecil and his wife Emma, who was A. G. Talbot's daughter, in 1878. Melrose is a two-story, five-bay brick dwelling of Greek Revival design. It is situated in the gently rolling terrain of the Bluegrass Region in northeastern Boyle County, Kentucky, and is about a mile and three quarters northwest of the county seat, Danville, and a little less than two miles from the Mercer County line. The property is located on the east side of U.S. 127 (Harrodsburg Road), and the house, which faces westward toward the highway, sits at the end of a long drive of approximately eight hundred feet and on a small, cleared knoll.

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Robinson House - Quietdale, Huntsville Alabama

The house was erected for Mrs. Caroline Moore Robinson, widow of Madison County sheriff William (Black Bill) Robinson. A Virginia-born planter and speculator, Robinson had accumulated vast landholdings in Alabama and Mississippi by the time of his death in 1852, at the premature age of forty-four. Documentary evidence hints that the noted Huntsville architect George Steele or his son, Matthew W. Steele, may be responsible for the design and construction of Quietdale. The younger Steele, though never to achieve a reputation comparable to that of his father, intermittently practiced as an architect in Huntsville during the 1850s. George Steele himself died in the fall of 1854. But a note among his estate papers refers to a debt of $1131.66 due from the Estate of Wm Robinson for the bal[ance] of work furnished by M.W.S. Executor, payable on January 1, 1856. Certainly the original plan of the house followed George Steele's predilection for separating the formal interior spaces from the more intimate family living area Thus a forty-two foot long drawingroom suite lay to the right of an entrance vertibule; to the left was a series of smaller and more informally disposed rooms extending into a rear ell. Directly behind the foyer, two stairhalls with parallel stairways led to completely separate bedroom suites on the upper floor. Why the upper floor was partitioned is not entirely clear: whether to isolate the guest chambers, or in deference to the custom observed in far more primitive Alabama houses of the period, of carefully separating the boys' and girls' sleeping quarters.

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