Photo credit: Jennifer Falkinburg , 08/23/2003

Property Name: Rockville Railroad Station
Date Listed: 7/18/1974
Inventory No.: M: 26-12-1
Location: 98, Church Street, Rockville, Montgomery County

Description: The Rockville Station is a Victorian picturesque structure with some Eastlake detailing, particularly in the roofline and gable decoration. Built in 1873, the building is of red brick with a gabled central bay and board-and-batten dormered longitudinal wings. The vertical 2/2 sash pointed arch windows of the first floor facade have variegated stone voussoir block surrounds, while the architraves of the 2/2 sash dormer windows are painted a rust color. Continuous light-colored courses run below the sills of the ground floor windows; a brickwork decorative motif runs across the facade in the central gable. The end walls of the wings are brick and have pointed arched windows with variegated voussoir blocks both on the ground floor and in the gable. A single 4/4 window pierces the ground floor while the gable holds a pair of 2/2 sash windows. The gable end is clipped, with an arched bracket support under the eaves. Light colored courses run beneath the sills of the ground floor and the gable windows. The rear facade is more functionally austere, with a wing at right angles to the main body of the building decoratively marked only by a wall dormer with a pointed-arched 2/2 sash window. The roof is covered with slate tiles laid in alternating light and dark bands. The body of the building is red brick and the woodwork is painted fawn with rust trim.

Significance: The Rockville B & O station is one of the few survivors of the many picturesque county stations built along the tracks of the B & O and other 19th century American railroads. Unlike most surviving stations, the exterior character of the Rockville station remains unmarred by unsympathetic additions or painting. The construction of the Rockville station as part of the development of the Metropolitan Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was an important factor in the growth of the City of Rockville. Providing cheap, efficient transportation from Washington, the station contributed to the establishment of Rockville as a summer resort during the 1880s through 1900. Many of these visitors built summer homes in Rockville, and soon took up year-round residency. Residential lots in the area known as "West End Park" were vigorously promoted by developers because of access to the railroad. Rockville's size and population expanded around the resort trade and purchasers of subdivision lots. Rockville also served as the transfer point for passengers going to Sandy Spring, Olney, and Brookeville. The station and its freight sidings contributed to Rockville's growth as a commercial center by providing efficient transportation of goods. In 1981, the 400-ton passenger station was moved about 50 meters to the south to make way for the Rockville Metro station.




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