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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Susanne Moore, 07/1980
Frederick Armory
Inventory No.: FHD-793
Date Listed: 9/25/1985
Location: W. Second & N. Bentz Street , Frederick, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1913
Architect/Builder: Architect: John B. Hamme; Builder: Lloyd C. Culler
Description: The Frederick Armory, two stories tall on a full basement, emulates a Medieval fortification. The east and west facades are connected by a one-story drill hall. The center front block is executed in red brick laid in Flemish bond pattern. The front (Bentz Street) facade faces east and is comprised of symmetrical two-bay sections on each side of a center block containing three-story towers. The side sections contain two windows at basement level with 2/2 sash and stone water table. First and second floor windows occur two at each level. These have 4/4 sash and brick segmental lintels and stone sills. A dentiled cornice crosses each side section, surmounted by 6 crenelles with stone caps at the roofline. The center of the front section is characterized by two three-story towers flanking a one-bay center section with stone segmentally arched doorway. The two towers are octagonal and contain one window in each of their three full sides at first and second floor levels, 2/2 replacement sash, stone lintels and sills. A band of stone crosses the towers above the second floor windows. The third floor of the towers features narrow decorative slots (one header wide) centered over the windows of the lower floors. The slots have stone caps and sills. At the roof levels of the towers are two narrow stone strip moldings with dentils between the strips, one dentil to each of the three full sides of the towers. The south (Baker Park) side of the front block contains four bays with one window at each basement, first, and second floor levels, 4/4 sash on the upper floors. All windows have brick segmental arches and stone sills. The dentiled cornice and crenelled roofline continue as on the front facade. The rear first floor drill hall over full basement is executed in red brick, common bond, and contains 8 bays separated by buttresses. The rear (west) facade, executed in buff-colored glazed brick in Flemish bond pattern is apparently a later addition. It is identical in structural details to the front facade, except that it rests on a stone foundation, omits the dentiled cornice, and is composed of a different kind of brick. Significance: The Frederick Maryland Armory is primarily significant for its association with the reorganization and expansion of the National Guard system in the 20th century. It derives additional significance from its role as a social center for its community, a function it has served continuously since its construction date. Architecturally, the building embodies the distinctive characteristics of its type, including a T-shaped plan with a two-story front "head house" section and a one-story perpendicular "drill hall" extending to the rear; its facade is detailed to recall Medieval fortifications, with towers flanking the central entrance, crenellated parapets, and strip buttresses.
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