Historic Structures

Blendon Estate, Owings Mills Maryland

The Blendon Estate is the northernmost portion of the Caves Estate operated by the Carroll family during the 18th and 19th century. The land was first acquired by Dr. Charles Carroll in the 1730's and 1750's. By the time that the original wing of the tenant house and the hank barn on the Blendon section of the estate were constructed in the 19th century, the Caves property had grown to 2,500 acres. Under the ownership of John Henry Carroll (1803-56) and his son John Nicholas Carroll (1847-1926), the Caves was a grain and livestock farm, consisting of multiple fields extending on both sides of what is now Park Heights Avenue and Caves Road. On sloping land such as is found surrounding the site of the tenant house and nearby bank barn, livestock production seems to have been paramount. The tenants of the Carrolls resided in the dwelling and raised the livestock and hay needed for feed in their portion of the estate. Hay was stored in the main level of the barn, and the livestock were kept in pens in the lower level. The Caves mansion house and main cluster of outbuildings stood over a mile to the southwest, across what is now Park Heights Avenue. In 1897, the son of John Henry Carroll, John Nicholas Carroll (1847-1926) defaulted on a mortgage he had taken on the Caves estate, and the tract was sold at auction. The portion containing the tenant house and barn passed in 1925 to Janon Fisher, a retired engineer who resided in the Caves mansion to the south of the parcel containing the barn. In 1935, Fisher and his wife sold the 110 acres surrounding the barn and tenant house immediately to the south to Richard E. Breed, 3rd, President of the General Perm Refining Co. of Baltimore. It was probably Breed who erected the Breed-Krongard House, the large, Neo-Georgian residence that now stands on the top of the hill above the barn. Breed, who lived on the property until selling it in 1946, apparently also remodeled the lower level of the barn to serve as a garage and horse stable. Since 1946 the estate has been known as Blendon, a name that Breed may have given it. Three other families owned Blendon and resided there during the period since World War II.

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Republic Iron and Steel Company Youngstown Works, Ohio

The Republic Iron and Steel Company was established in 1899 through a consolidation of various rolling mills and blast furnace plants primarily in the central and southern states. Capitalized at over $55 million, the company was one of the largest organizations to emerge at the end of the 19th century. It included thirty-six bar-forged iron plants, five blast furnaces, and numerous mining concerns (Lake Superior ores, Connellsville coke, and Alabama coal). Many of the facilities, however, were outmoded, and Republic moved to acquire new facilities while consolidating existing facilities to maximize production efficiency (this often involved shifting machinery between plants). Of particular concern to Republic was the enhancement of its steelmaking capabilities to supply their finishing mills. In its first year, Republic actively sought additional mining properties and purchased open-hearth plants in Birmingham, Alabama, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Youngstown, Ohio. In the eight months between May, 1899 and the end of the year, Republic produced 525,951 tons of goods, including merchant bar iron and steel, foundry and mill pig iron, a large percentage of finished products such as nuts, bolts, washers, rivets, nails, railroad spikes, shafting, axles, and a variety of specialty items. By 1900, Republic was recording gross assets of over $17 million. Between 1899 and 1905, the general offices of Republic Iron and Steel were located in Chicago, after which they moved to Pittsburgh until 1911 when operations were centered in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1936, the headquarters would move again to Cleveland, marking a greater orientation toward the Great Lakes, and Republic's largest consumer, the automobile industry.

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Pleasant Prospect - Isaac Duckett House, Woodmore Maryland

Pleasant Prospect reflects the wealth and elegance of the upper class of planters in Prince George's County during the late 18th and early 19th century. The house was unusually large and well appointed for its time, with a large hall or passage, formal parlor, separate dining room and a library in the main block of the first floor. The 1839 inventory of the personal estate of John Contee gives indications as to the use of the rooms. The parlor is referred to as the drawing room in the inventory. This is another term for the best parlor where guests were received. Contee*s inventory lists all the common accoutrements of the early 19th-century middle-to-uppermiddle class parlor including; drawing room carpet, large mahogany sofa, two lounges, one pair of mahogany card tables, mahogany tea table, one dozen mahogany chairs, mantel glass (mirror) and pair of mantel lamps, lot of books in drawing room and a piano. This compares well with what Elisabeth Garrett in her book At Home; The American Family 1750-1870 refers to the salient features of the late-18th to early 19th century drawing room which included: a pair of sofas, a dozen chairs, a twain of piers glasses (a mirror between two windows usually with a table beneath it) and tandem tables. Likewise, the dining room at Pleasant Prospect was an indicator of wealth. Garrett points out that a separate room purely for dining was a symbol of economic success during this period. Generally, dining was done in the kitchen or multi-use room where other items (desks, game tables, sofas, etc.) might also be found. Contee's inventory lists a sideboard, one mahogany dining table, one set of mahogany dining tables, eight rush bottom chairs, eight green arm chairs, two knife cases, two large looking glasses, a brussels carpet, hearth rug and a (horse) hair (stuffed) sofa.

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Chicago, Burlington and Quincy -CBQ- Railroad Roundhouse and Shops, Aurora Illinois

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Roundhouse and attached backshop complex located in Aurora, Illinois, are a group of intricately-connected structures built between 1855 and 1954. The complex is all that remains of an extensive railroad shop facility that once filled the 60-acre industrial site on the east side of the Fox River. Extant structures, include a roundhouse, 3 attached machine shops, a rod shop, a blacksmith shop, boiler room, tool room, and wheel corridor and bay. They are an important part of America's engineering heritage not only because of their age and architectural features but because of their contribution to the development of midwestern railroads in general and the CB&Q in particular. Portions of the complex are among the oldest railroad shop buildings in the United States. The roundhouse is the oldest full roundhouse still standing, pre-dating by some 10 years the Baltimore & Ohio West and East Roundhouses (1866 and 1870-72) in Martinsburg, West Virginia. It may also be the only stone roundhouse still standing. The stone machine shop (1856) ranks with the B&O Machine Shop in Grafton, West Virginia (1853-54), and the Central of Georgia Savannah Repair Shops (1850's) as the oldest railroad structures of that type. The Aurora boiler/engine room (1856), machine/erecting shop (1863), and the combination blacksmith and boiler shop (1873) are also noteworthy because of their age.

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Trenton House Hotel, Trenton New Jersey

The Trenton House was one of Trenton's most famous and prestigious hotels in the 19th century, serving politicians in town for the work of the state legislature and travelers who arrived at the nearby railroad station. Transformed to a hotel from a Georgian-style residence in 1824, the Marquis de Lafayette stayed here duing his American tour of that year. In 1861 President-elect Abraham Lincoln was a guest at the Trenton House while traveling to his first inauguration. Lincoln was given a reception here, and he addressed crowds of citizens from the hotel balcony. The hotel was a gathering place for many other politicians during the 19th century, and the legend grew of the Trenton House's Room 100, where deals were made and political careers won 6r lost. The hotel was noted for the high quality of its rooms, service, and food. Additions and alterations to the hotel were made every few years in the latter 19th century to keep it up-to-date. The dining rooms and restaurants on the first floor continued to attract customers at the turn of the century, even as the hotel itself began to decline in the face of competition from newer establishments. The Trenton House kept its name for little over a century, but a 1927 change of ownership made it the Milner Hotel. The Depression years were hard on the business, and in 1941, the once-grand ground-floor spaces - the lobby, the billiard hall, and dining rooms were destroyed as the interior was carved up into fourteen small shops. Gradually, the upper floors of the building were abandoned, and by the 1970s, the old hotel was derelict.

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The Wallach Building, Trenton New Jersey

The Wallach Building is a commercial building erected on the corner of State and Broad Streets, the heart of downtown Trenton. The modern steel frame building with greatly simplified classical detailing replaced nine individual 19th century buildings which had crowded together on this site. Planned in the Roaring Twenties, but completed during the Depression, the Wallach Building was the most modern building in this block of downtown. The building was most popularly known as part of the Dunham's Department Store in the 1950s and '60s, and it carried a lighted sign for Dunhams on the corner overlooking State and Broad Streets. The Wallach Building site has been a bustling corner 1n the heart of downtown Trenton's commercial area since the early 19th century. In the 1920's The First National Bank of Trenton began to consolidate ownership of the nine existing buildings on the corner of East State and Broad Streets, so that by 1928, the entire site could be sold for development. The existing buildings were razed, and construction on the new four story block began in 1929.

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