Nancy A. Miller
12815, Kanes Road, Glen Arm, Baltimore County
Prospect Hill is a 2 ½-story brick house, three bays long on the north (entrance) façade and four bays long on the south. The brick is laid in common bond and is not carefully pointed. Originally the house was covered with stucco, which was removed in the mid-20th century. The centrally placed double door on the north façade has a semicircular leaded fanlight. Two pilasters flank the door and support a wooden arch over the fanlight. A pair of rectangular, leaded sidelights are located near the door. The entrance porch has a round arch within the pediment which is supported by two pairs of columns. On the south façade, a one-story porch runs the length of the building. Access to the porch is gained through a jib door. There is an enclosed chimney on both the east and west gable ends. A semicircular, leaded window is located in the center of the west façade at the attic level. The windows have 6/6 sashes with plain sills and short arches. It is probable that when the house was stuccoed the window arches were treated more elaborately. A two-story wing extends from the east façade of the main house. It is stone covered with stucco. The wing has lower ceilings and more modest proportions than the Federal block. The first floor windows have 6/6 sashes while those on the second are 3/3, resembling "eyebrow" windows. A chimney protrudes from the center of the roof ridge. The wing contains a dining room with plain wood trim and a kitchen.
Prospect Hill is an early example of the Federal style in Maryland. Built between 1796 and 1798, it equals, if not rivals, later Federal buildings such as the Carroll Mansion in Baltimore City, especially in the interior detailing and proportions. The builder, Thomas Ringgold, had the financial resources as well as the cultural background to construct a house in the most current tastes. He was the grandson and eldest son of two wealthy and politically prominent Chestertown merchants, both named Thomas Ringgold. His family home, the Hynson-Ringgold House, is one of the architectural monuments of Chestertown.