Photo credit: M.E. Warren , Undated Photo

Property Name: Montpelier
Date Listed: 4/11/1970
Inventory No.: PG:62-6
Location: 9401, Montpelier Drive, Montpelier, Prince Georges County

Description: Montpelier is a five-part Georgian country house, consisting of a 2 1/2-story main block, hyphens, and two rectangular wings, each with a three-sided bay on the garden (east) gable-end. The central block, built after 1740, is comprised of five bays on the west, the three center bays of which are part of a slightly projecting pavilion topped by a pediment with a large bulls-eye window. This pediment gable projects from an otherwise hipped roof of steep pitch with a trace of bell-cast in its slope. Two tall chimney stacks rise from halfway up the side hips of the slate roof. The brickwork is Flemish bond except for an all-header belt course. There is a two-brick molded watertable above the high base. All the windows have splayed brick lintels of gauged brick. The entrance doorways on the front (southeast) and rear (northeast) are almost identical, having fluted pilasters, metopes, and are topped with an open pediment. The east doorway has a fanlight with Chinese-Gothic tracery. A modillion and dentil cornice adorn the main block. Each of the 1 1/2-story hyphens has two smaller windows and a doorway. The wings, added about 1770, have one dormer on the east side. A 20th century caretaker's house has been added onto the west, using the scale and style of the west side of the wings. The interior is decorated with mid-Georgian carvings, with fluted pilasters, dentil cornices, molded chair rails, and fireplace mantels in the manner of Abraham Swan. The west drawing room is fully paneled and includes a secret panel leading to a staircase alongside the chimney. Also on the property is 18th century summerhouse with Chinese-Gothic detailing within a boxwood garden.

Significance: General George Washington, his wife Martha Washington, their nephew Robert Lewis, and Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, the second President, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President, were among the visitors to Montpelier. The central block of the building was built by Thomas Snowden probably after 1740. The property remained in the Snowden family through the 18th century, during which time the wings were constructed, and through the 19th century until the 1890s when it passed through a succession of owners. In the early 20th century, alterations and additions were made, including a kitchen and servant's quarters, extended from the south wing, and a seven-stall garage, which were built by His Excellency, the Minister from Belgium, Mr. Emmanuel Havenith.




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