Richard J. Brand
Muddy Creek Road (MD 468), , Galesville, , Anne Arundel County
Tulip Hill, an early Georgian plantation house, is a distinguished five-part composition. The central block is five bays wide and two stories high, of Flemish bond brick, facing north, with a high attic and double hipped roof. Connected to either end of the main block by three-bay one-story hyphens are two gable-front wings, two stories in height, but lower than the main block. Each two-bay end wing has a single chimney in the center of its outer wall. Both the hyphens and end wings are of common bond. The north facade of each part of the building bears a modillioned cornice. The north facade of the main block has a large pediment with a round window with unusual flanking decorative panels. There is a molded brick watertable and a belt course at the second floor level. Atop the hip roof are two high, arched and vaulted chimneys. The 6-panel double door in the center bay is topped by a 4-light transom, and sheltered by a one-story portico with a shallow pediment that was probably added about 1787-90. Supported by four columns, the portico contains a carved figure of cupid in the tympanum. Over the rear central door is a cantilevered hood carried on boldly projecting carved consoles, plastered inside its arched head and adorned by curious crockets on its raking cornices. It has a carved conventionalized tulip as its finial. Two small 4-light shed-roofed dormers light the attic on the rear facade. Windows on both front and rear of the main block carry 9/9 sashes with louvered shutters. The hyphens or curtains on either side of the main block contain three 6/6 windows on each facade, and are decorated with brick pilasters which extend to the height of the windows where they visually support a brick stringcourse. A small gable-roofed dormer with a round-arched window lights each side of the hyphens. Windows in the end wings are 6/6 on the first floor and 3/3 on the second. The only existing remnant of an outbuilding is the foundation of an old ice house, partly supporting a garage.
The central block of Tulip Hill is a finely designed and little-altered example of an early Southern Georgian brick plantation house. Erected in 1755-56, its basic plan and design are typical of the great Georgian mansions of the mid 18th century, but its experimental approach to late Georgian formality in certain decorative features gives it distinctive character which adds interest to its detail. With the wings and hyphens added between 1787 and 1790, Tulip Hill is also a very distinguished example of the five-part composition country house. Sitting on a rise of land, the impressive approach to the house from the river by a tree-lined lane through the meadows and into the terraced garden exists today as it did originally, maintaining the original site and environment.