Francis E. Engle
19, , Maryland Avenue, , Annapolis, , Anne Arundel County
The Hammond-Harwood House is a symmetrical brick building facing northwest with a five-bay center section, flanked by two-story end wings with polygonal bays. One wing served the house's builder, Matthias Hammond, as a law office, and the other housed the kitchen and service rooms. Two chimneys pierce the northeast and southwest hips of the roof. The main body of the house is a simple rectangular block with low-pitched hipped roof and slightly projecting pedimented pavilions on both the street and garden sides, decorated only by a beltcourse of rubbed brick at the second-story level. All the windows are widely spaced and cleanly cut into the wall surface with only a rubbed brick lintel above each opening as decoration. First-floor windows are 6/9 sash while those on the second floor are 6/6. Attention is focused on the central entrance bay by the second-story window with a classical surround and full entablature, visually supported by projecting consoles. Below the window, the main door, with its arched fanlight framed by engaged Ionic columns, creates the major focal point of the facade, and is unusually rich in the variety of ornamental forms. The front doorway, as well as the first floor dining room and second floor ballroom, are all noted for their wealth of carved decorative woodwork. No two rooms in the house are identical in size, but an occasional use of false doors maintains the appearance of perfect symmetry. The two chief rooms are the dining room on the first floor and the ballroom above it. Elaborate interior ornamentation includes an unusual door/window feature in the dining room, interior shutters with an octagon motif, and a modillioned cornice.
The Hammond-Harwood House is among the most significant Georgian residences of Colonial America. Important for the excellence of its design and refinement of detail, the building, completed in 1774, has the added distinction of being attributed with reasonable certainty to William Buckland, marking the period of his architectural maturity. The symmetrical brick building with a five-bay center section is flanked by two-story end wings with polygonal bays. This last feature was extremely rare prior to the Revolution. The low-pitched, hipped roof and slightly projecting pedimented center is typical of the late Georgian period. While the exterior is less imposing than the three-story Chase-Lloyd House across the street, its richly carved doorway, set off against the plain brick wall, is one of the most admired in all of Georgian architecture. All of these features combine to make this remarkable house a recognized Colonial masterpiece.