Paul Baker Touart
Clyde Ford Road, Westover, Somerset County
Liberty Hall is a fine example of mid-18th century architectural style. The main block of the house is clapboard with a shingle roof, three bays wide and two bays deep. The 2 1/2-story house sits on a high brick foundation with horizontally barred windows. The double door in the center has three panels on the exterior with diagonal battens on the interior. This door is graced by a fine broken, scrolled pediment. First-story windows are 12/12 sash and second-story windows are 9/6. Interior gable-end chimneys are found on either side of the main block. The old frame kitchen at the other end of the three-part plan was destroyed c. 1935 and reconstructed by Mr. Theodore Dorman along the original lines in 1975. A hyphen connecting the main block to this kitchen was enclosed in about 1830. Its architectural elements are distinctly Greek Revival as opposed to the Georgian influence in evidence throughout the rest of the house. Most of the interior of the main block has remained completely intact. There are three rooms and a stair hall downstairs and three chambers plus a bath on the second floor. The house has a basic center-hall plan minus the hall west wall with the main entrance into the great room. The stair hall is behind the great room and can be entered from the central rear door. The dining room enters off the stair hall. The withdrawing room is entered from the dining room only. Parts of the interior of the house are finely paneled. There are four corner fireplaces: one with a simple board molding and shelf mantel in the withdrawing room; one with an elaborate Georgian console mantel in the dining room; and two with Federal mantels with pilasters and classic friezes, one each in the great room and upstairs bed chamber. All the rooms are paneled with dado and have cornices. The stair hall has magnificent raised paneling.
Liberty Hall is significant in the architectural history of Somerset County for several reasons. A building of typical style and proportions for the period 1783-1798 in Somerset, it is, however, constructed of frame rather than the brick more usually found in a structure of this sort. The house retains in good condition nearly all of its 18th century architectural features. Each of the downstairs rooms retains full woodwork, including cornice, chair rail, baseboard, paneling, and door and window moldings. A hyphen in the Greek Revival style, built to connect the old kitchen to the main house c. 1830, remains also as an example of well-executed interior work of that style.