Historic Structures

Mount Lubentia Plantation - Magruder House, Largo Maryland

The Mount Lubentia plantation house, in both plan and interior detailing, is of a formal and dignified Federal style. The size and appointments of the rooms and the considerable space given to the center stairhall reflects a refinement and sense of social space indicative of the period beginning in the mid-18th century. By the time of the Revolution, the early hall-and-parlor house form had given way to a larger plan based on formalism rather than functionalism. The four-room, Georgian-inspired plan was far more expansive, with specialization in the usage of rooms. Mount Lubentia epitomizes these ideals with its plan, grace and spaciousness. The formal stairhall and center passage occupies one-quarter to one-third of the first-floor space. In addition, each room—large and with high ceilings—differs slightly in its detailing. The elegance and formality of Mount Lubentia is apparent immediately upon entering the house. There is a graceful, open-well stairway connecting with a center hall. The formality is further in evidence by the use of what appears to have been separate parlors for receiving guests and for family use. The receiving parlor—located near the front entry and the impressive stairhall—does not adjoin the family dining parlor which looks out over the garden to the rear of the house, carefully separating formal space from family space. In addition, each room is an entity unto itself, having its own particular moldings and interior finish such as mantels and built-in cabinets.

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Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company - Fairchild Aircraft, Hagerstown Maryland

Kreider-Reisner Factory No. 1 (also known as Fairchild No. 1) was built as a result of a partnership between upstart airplane builders Ammon H. Kreider and Lewis E. Reisner and aviation industrialist Sherman Fairchild in 1929, in order to meet demand for the Challenger, a popular sport biplane. A modern open industrial structure by the late 1920s standards, the factory was constructed in only four months in the former airfield behind the original Kreider-Reisner Shed. Here Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company and Fairchild Aviation Corporation developed and mass produced several innovative commercial aircraft, including the KR-31 and KR-34 Challengers, the F-22 and F-24, and the F-91 Amphibian. Entering the defense field in 1939, Fairchild's PT-19 Primary Trainer and C-82 Packet both earned major Army contracts, leading to tremendous expansion of both the factory and the company. During World War II, Fairchild No. 1 was the center of the Hagerstown System of manufacturing as Fairchild subcontracted with over twenty-five businesses throughout the city to assist in the production of military aircraft for the war effort. Although Fairchild closed in the 1980s, the factory survives as a symbol of Fairchild's and Hagerstown's heyday as a major aviation manufacturing center. Kreider-Reisner Factory No. 1 (Fairchild No. 1) represents the evolution of the Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company from a small partnership assembling biplanes out of a patchwork of buildings into the modern Fairchild corporation operating essentially under one roof with state of the art practices. Although forced to cut back production not long after it opened due to the effects of the stock market crash, Fairchild managed to survive the Depression by reducing production costs and building quality, affordable planes. It was poised for growth with the onset of World War II after it developed the PT-19 Primary Trainer for the military in 1939. Moving into the air transport market, Fairchild also developed the F-31, F-91 Amphibian and C-82 Packet. New wartime contracts led to further expansion of the company adjacent to the Hagerstown Airport with the construction of Fairchild No. 2, designed by Albert Kahn & Associates. During WW II, Fairchild No. 1 became the center of the Hagerstown System of aircraft manufacturing, in which a variety of local industrial concerns were converted to aviation subcontractors to meet the incredible demand of the U.S. Army. The company and city went into eventual decline following the Korean War, as Fairchild sold its flagship factory in 1963 and ultimately closed its remaining plants in the 1980s. Even after its conversion to miscellaneous light industrial uses, Fairchild No. 1 remains as a testament to the growth of aircraft development and construction in Hagerstown from 1929-45.

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Green Gables - Fleishhacker House, Woodside California

Significant as a masterwork, a house and landscape planned as a unified composition by one person, Charles Sumner Greene of the famous architectural firm Greene and Greene, for one patron, Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer Fleishhacker, and kept intact by (so far) three generations of their family. A museum catalogue has said, Green Gables bespeaks a gracious yet comfortable manner of living, but its particular beauty derives from its harmonious relationship with the land, always a special forte of Charles [Greene]. Here it is a sublime creation.(1) In relation to its area, San Mateo County and the Santa Clara Valley of California, Green Gables can claim the earliest roof of shingles imitating thatch, the first free-form swimming pool, one of the first buildings surfaced with gunite, and the last great estate with land, use and ownership intact.(2) The historic owners, Mortimer Fleishhacker Sr. and Mortimer Fleishhacker Jr., were significant figures in Northern California banking and industry and in San Francisco cultural, charitable and philanthropic organizations. Sketches and correspondence in the Documents Collection of the College of Environmental Design, University of California Berkeley, testify to the relationship of this architect and client, and show some of their design decision process. The largest of all Greene and Greene designs, the Fleishhacker estate concept developed vast, formal gardens to contrast with the natural chaparral of the rolling, mountainous site.

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Medford Soo Line Railroad Depot, Medford Wisconsin

The Medford Centennial Book states that more than any other factor, ...The Wisconsin Central Railroad had the greatest influence on the why and wherefore of Medford's uptown and downtown locations... it seeded the mushroom which spread into a hamlet and later a city. As the first rail line into northern Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Central deserves special attention. Incorporated in 1871, WC's first division of railroad to penetrate the northern frontier was a 65-mile stretch from Menasha to Stevens Point. Under the financial leadership of eastern capitalist Gardner Colby, the company acquired more than 837,000 acres under a federal land grant. In exchange for free land, WC's obligation was to be the first company to link the shore of Lake Superior with the southern part of the State. Most historians agree that the WC was organized for the purpose of acquiring the wilderness lands, because the railroad promoters sold the land to lumbermen as soon as they had acquired it. The lands north of Stevens Point were often referred to as The Pinery and were sparsely settled in the early 1870's. Thus, construction of the Wisconsin Central through the north country generally preceded settlement by Europeans. Like many northern Wisconsin towns, Medford owes its origins to the Wisconsin Central Railroad. The WC began laying rails northwest of Stevens Point in early 1872, completing its line as far as Colby in September of that year. At the same time, crews cleared a path north to the Black River. The first train passed through what now is Medford in July, and the first depot was erected in September of 1873. W.B. Jeffers, the first depot agent, and two other persons were the sole permanent residents of Medford in the winter of 1873. The name Medford was selected to recognize the home town in Massachusetts of one of the railroad's investors. In the Spring of 1874, the Wisconsin Central built a 7-room guest house for prospective German and Swiss buyers of railroad farm lands. This immigrant house located near what is now Main and Lincoln Streets in Medford may have been the only instance of the railroad company giving free shelter to prospective land buyers. Wisconsin Central donated a 316' x 500' land parcel just east of the depot to Taylor County for the site of the Taylor County Courthouse.

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Tulip Hill House, Galesville Maryland

Tulip Hill, located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, approximately 2.5 miles west of Galesville on State Route 468, is a finely designed and little altered example of an early Southern Georgian brick plantation house. Erected in 1755-56, its basic plan and design are typical of the great Georgian mansions of mid-century, but its experimental approach to late Georgian formality in certain decorative features gives it distinctive character which adds interest to its detail. With the wings and hyphens added between 1787-90, Tulip Hill is also a very distinguished example of a five-part composition country house. Sitting on a rise of land, the impressive approach to the house from the river by a tree lined lane through the meadows and into the terraced garden exists today as it did over 200 years ago, maintaining the original site and environment. This offers today's visitor much the same impression as it did in the eighteenth century. Samuel Galloway, Quaker merchant-planter, purchased the old Talbot patent of 'Poplar Knowle, 260 acres with water frontage on West River and Browns Creek, in 1755. He renamed the property Tulip Hill, retaining in this new name the distinctive feature of the grove of grand tulip poplar trees, many still standing with ages up to 300 years. Letters reveal that the central block was well underway in 1755-56, under the direction of John Deavour. The architect is unknown, but the interior floor plan of the house bears a close relationship to Stenton, at Germantown, Pennsylvania, built by Galloway's Quaker friend, James Logan. The interior of Tulip Hill has been attributed to the young carver, William Buckland, on the basis of motif and a reference in a document that Galloway borrowed a carver from Gunston Hall, where Buckland is known to have been working at the time, but no firm evidence has been found to fully substantiate this theory. In 1787-90 John Galloway, Samuel's son, enlarged Tulip Hill into its final and present five-part form by adding two end wings, two connecting curtains, and also the present portico on the north (land) front of the central block. The plantation house remained in the possession of the Galloway family until 1886. After passing through several ownerships, the mansion was rehabilitated.

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Montpelier - Snowden House, Laurel Maryland

Montpelier is by far the grandest of the many Snowden family homesteads built in the Laurel area from the time of the first Snowden settler, ca. 1690, to the late-18th century. A wealthy, Quaker family, they developed and dominated the local economy for over a century. Richard Snowden, later referred to as Richard the immigrant, came from Birmingham, England, to Maryland ca. 1658. He later received grants of land in this area, settling on a portion of it (located in the current Howard County) ca. 1690. His residence was known as Birmingham Manor for his original home. Upon his death, the Birmingham Manor property passed on to his son, Richard Snowden II, also known as Captain Richard Snowden. Richard continued to increase the family landholdings here until they totalled approximately 27,000 acres spanning Prince Georges, Montgomery, Anne Arundel and Howard counties. It was Richard II that started the Snowden or Patuxent Iron Works in 1735, was the first iron works in the state. His property upon his death was passed on to his son, Richard III, often referred to as the Iron Master. From him, that portion of the extensive Snowden family holdings on which Montpelier was to be erected passed onto one of his sons, Thomas. Thomas Snowden I (1722-1770) was, for many years, credited with the construction of Montpelier, originally believed to have been erected ca. 1740. However, architectural historians now believe that, based on the style and detailing of the house, it was built between 1770-1785. The two firebacks in the house give the date of 1783, which may have been the official year of completion of the main block of the house. The hyphenated wings were added later, in 1794-1795.

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