Photo credit: MHT File Photo , Undated Photo

Property Name: Acquinsicke
Date Listed: 2/20/1992
Inventory No.: CH-53
Location: Billingsley Road, Bryans Road, Charles County

Description: Acquinsicke is a rectangular, two-story, five-bay, clapboarded frame dwelling with one-story additions to each end. With a northeast-southwest axis, the house stands on brick foundations enclosing a full cellar, and its one-room-deep, central passage plan is repeated on both principal floor levels as well as the finished attic. A boldly corbeled interior chimney stack stands at each end of the building's gable roof, servicing fireplaces in the first floor, second floor, and attic rooms. All of the existing exterior finishes are contemporary with an extensive post-1934 rehabilitation. The southeast facade is five bays wide with a central entrance. Windows have 6/6 sash in the outer two bays on each floor. The center bay of the second floor holds a small window above a large tripartite window between the first and second floors. On the interior, the building's original floor plan remains undisturbed, although most of the trim, including mantels and doors, reflect renovations that occurred in the mid and late 19th century and the late 1930s; however, the main stair, which rises in four flights to the attic, and the mantel and the trim of its flanking alcove in the first floor north room are original. Other early features include some of the baseboards, most of the trim of the attic chambers, and all of the flooring except that in the first floor south room. As part of the building's late 1930s rehabilitation a one-story, gable-roofed, kitchen-service wing was added at the northeast end of the house. About 20 years later a one-story, semi-hipped-roofed sunporch was built at the opposite end. Despite the 20th century changes, the integrity of the 18th century portion of the house as it existed in 1934 has been preserved. A detached frame garage, built about 1940 or 1950, stands off the north end of the house and at a right angle to it. Historic landscape features include a series of two terraced falls to the south and southwest of the house.

Significance: In a local context, Acquinsicke, built between 1783 and 1798, is a highly significant example of late 18th century, early Federal architecture. Exceedingly few examples of domestic architectural forms survive in this locality that illustrate as well as Acquinsicke the transitional phase between wholly vernacular building customs and those buildings whose carpentry and overall designs were clearly influenced by outside sources. In this regard, Acquinsicke's one-room-deep central passage plan, full two story height, finished and heated attic chambers, and boldly corbeled and plaster banded chimney stacks are of particular interest. Viewed singly, each of these details is unusual in a local, late-18th century architectural context; collectively, they establish Acquinsicke as wholly unique.




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