Jennifer K. Cosham
1211, Main St., N. & Black Rock Road (MD 833), Hampstead, Carroll County
The Hampstead School, constructed in 1919 and expanded in 1939, stands on the east side of Main Street in the village of Hampstead. The two-story brick building has Tudor Revival stylistic elements. The building has a U-shape with a 1919 rectangular common bond brick main block and an L-shaped rear addition constructed in 1939 in six-course common bond. The front facade, facing west towards Main Street, is composed of a central entrance recessed within a segmental arched concrete opening, above which is a panel inscribed "Hampstead School". Above this is a triple window, composed of three 12/12 sash windows. These windows, and indeed all the windows on the 1919 structure, have concrete sills and lintels. This central bay, flanked by brick pilasters, is accented by a stepped parapet at the roofline. Flanking the pilasters are 6/6 sash windows. To either side of this central group is a set of four 12/12 sash windows on each floor. The ends of the building project out from the rest of the facade, and exhibit large recessed brick panels trimmed with brick corbels and concrete corners. The parapet roof is also stepped above these end pavilions. The rest of the building is detailed in a similar manner. Secondary entrances are emphasized by stepped parapet walls. Grouped windows light classrooms, single windows light secondary and circulation spaces, and brick panels ornament blind walls. On the north facade, the 1939 addition is continuous with the 1919 main block. The 1939 addition also has a wing extending to the south, parallel to the main block, and giving the building a U shape. Large second-story windows on the east facade of the main block and the east and west facades of this south wing light assembly spaces. The south wing has a date stone inscribed "1939" at its southwest corner. The interior of the building is organized around a north-south hallway in the 1919 main block and an east-west hallway in the 1939 addition. Stairwells and secondary entrances are located at the ends of the hallways. Classrooms are arranged around the perimeter of the building. First-floor locker rooms and a second-floor cafeteria are located in the center rear of the main block. A first-floor shop/boiler room and second-floor auditorium/gymnasium are located in the south wing of the 1939 addition. While the basic interior plan remains largely intact, spaces and finishes have been altered over the years. Interior finishes are simple. Most of the floors are covered in tile, but wood floors remain in the second-story hallway of the main block and in the auditorium/gymnasium. The plaster walls retain most of their base and chair moldings. Plaster ceilings are visible through holes in the modern drop ceiling. A few early half-glass interior doors with transoms remain. One-story additions dating to 1968 and 1972 extend to the rear of the building, and are detailed with a combination of blind brick walls and ribbon windows.
The Hampstead School, constructed in 1919 and 1939, is a good example of centralized schools that Maryland's early-20th century school consolidation created. Designed and constructed by local builder N. Claud Erb, the school illustrates the importance of public education in the first half o the 20th century. The 1939 wing was designed by B. E. Starr. Until 1956, it housed students from first grade through high school. In 1951, Black and Decker opened a plant nearby, resulting in population growth which quickly overwhelmed the school's capacity. The Hampstead School is significant for its association with early-20th century education in rural Carroll County.