Photo credit: Donna Ware , 02/1984

Property Name: Benson-Hammond House
Date Listed: 4/5/1990
Inventory No.: AA-118,
Location: Aviation Boulevard (MD 170), , Linthicum Heights, , Anne Arundel County

Description: The Benson-Hammond House is a 2 1/2-story, 6 bay by 2 bay, 19th century brick dwelling, constructed in the Greek Revival style. The main block of the house is brick, laid in common bond, and faces east. A frame, 2-story shed addition extends from the north end of the rear, west elevation of the main block. A 1-story wooden porch with a hip roof covers the central 3 bays of the facade. The earlier section, of the house comprising the southern 3 bays of the house, consists of a 2-story, central passage plan dwelling constructed c. 1830. The house was lengthened 3 bays to the north c. 1855, and the half story appears to have been added at that time, reminiscent of the Greek Revival style. The frame wing was constructed in 1982, replacing a late-19th century wing of similar dimensions. The main block of the house has a masonry foundation and no watertable. There is a cellar under one third of the house at the south end. The gable roof is covered with standing seam metal, painted brick red, as is the shed roof of the wing. There are three brick chimneys, two of which are flush gable end chimneys, and the third is a central one, marking the gable end of the earlier central passage section. There is a plain corbeled brick cornice. The house has been painted off-white as it was historically. Windows on the first and second stories are 6/6 sash with single course brick jack arches. The windows at the half-story level are small 6-pane windows. Much of the interior is intact, including the plaster walls and most of the interior trim.

Significance: The Benson-Hammond House is significant as an unusual and atypical 19th century brick farmhouse in northern Anne Arundel County, an area which was once predominantly farmland. Rapid post-World War II residential and industrial development combined with extensive highway construction have changed this area dramatically. As a result, few 19th century rural structures have survived, making the Benson-Hammond House an important visual and interpretive link with the north county's architectural, social, and economic past. The house is an unusual example of the Greek Revival style, with the c. 1855 Greek Revival addition being constructed many years after the popularity of that style. Based upon a survey of the area, it is doubtful that the Benson-Hammond House represents the typical 19th century farmhouse in northern Anne Arundel County. The original two-story, center-passage plan dwelling was constructed c. 1830 for Thomas Benson. The house was expanded c. 1855 to its present appearance by Thomas' son, Joseph Benson. The Benson farm is significant for its association with truck farming which was the dominant agricultural activity in north Anne Arundel County from the second quarter of the 19th century until after World War II. Truck farming was a method of harvesting and marketing produce and relied heavily on seasonal immigrant labor brought in from Baltimore.




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