Charity V. Davidson
206, Market Street (MD 675), Pocomoke City, Worcester County
The Costen House is a two story, hipped roof, frame dwelling in the Victorian Italianate style. The street facade is five bays in width at both floor levels. The center three bays of the first floor are sheltered beneath a flat roofed porch decorated with elaborately carved cornice brackets and arched lacework between the porch posts. The main entrance occupies the center first floor bay and consists of a door of four octagonal panels framed by over and sidelights. The four windows flanking the door and the five windows of the second floor frame sash of 4/4 panes and have louvered exterior shutters. Unlike many houses of this type, the windows of the Costen House lack ornamental hoods or sills. Centered on the front slope of the roof is a iron gable with a small arched sash window near the gable peak. Similar iron gables are on the ends of the house. The bracketed roof cornice is continued around the inside of the gables. On the north end of the house, there is a three-sided bay window set forward of the center line. It has narrow sash windows divided by plain wood pilasters over a simple paneled base. The treatment of the roof cornice repeats that of the main roof. The whole of the exterior of the house retains its original clapboard sheathing. Centered on the rear elevation is a three bay, two story service wing with a flush gable chimney at the west end. This chimney has an ornamental corbeled cap which matches the two centered chimneys of the main block in design. On the west end of the wing is a later second floor sun porch supported by three posts.
The building standing at 206 Market Street, known as the Dr. Isaac T. Costen House, is one of the few survivors of a series of fires in 1888, 1892, and 1922. It is a good example of the Victorian Italianate style and has remained basically unaltered since its construction. It is Pocomoke City's finest remaining 19th century structure.