Downtown Cumberland Historic District
Cumberland, Allegany County
This district is a group of approximately 107 commercial, religious, and civic buildings within the city of Cumberland, a manufacturing and transportation center on the Potomac River in Western Maryland. The downtown area comprises the city's principal business district and is located on the east side of Wills Creek, roughly bounded by the tracks of the Western Maryland Railroad on the west, and George Street on the east. Baltimore Street is the major street; the district extends approximately two blocks north and south of this street along George, Liberty, Centre, and Mechanic Streets. The district is a nearly intact example of a late-19th and 20th century commercial center and is made up of three or more story brick buildings, which are, for the most part, unaltered. Only a few 20th century infill buildings and parks disturb the architectural integrity of the district.
The Downtown Cumberland Historic District gains its significance from both its architecture and the history of its commercial development as reflected in the representative structures. The virtually intact, late-19th to early-20th century buildings comprising the district range in style from Greek Revival to Art Moderne. They include some of the best examples of these styles in Western Maryland and, in some cases, the state. National, state, and locally significant architects, including Bruce Price, Wright Butler, George Flack Sansbury, John S. Seibert, Holmboe and Lafferty, and Hodgens and Hills all have buildings represented in the district. Commercially, the district includes a broad range of types, including theatres, large department stores, small specialty shops, hotels, and a railroad station, reflecting the economic prominence of Cumberland at the turn of the 20th century as a manufacturing, transportation, and coal shipping center. The District's period of significance is from c. 1860 through c. 1930.