Photo credit: William Lyon , 03/1984

Property Name: Wester Ogle
Date Listed: 1/11/1985
Inventory No.: BA-643
Location: 8948-8950, Reisterstown Road (MD140), Pikesville, Baltimore County

Description: Wester Ogle is a large, Federal-influenced house constructed c. 1842, located near Pikesville in Baltimore County. The house, which faces east, is constructed of stucco-covered stone, and stands three stories high over an excavated basement, three bays wide by one room deep. An original ell, two bays wide, extends from the northwest corner; a one-bay frame addition was made to the west end of this ell ca. 1890. The main block has a hipped roof, with two interior chimneys and two pedimented dormers on its east slope; a single chimney rises from the end of the gable-roofed ell, and a pair of similar dormers lights each slope. The entrance, located in the central bay, consists of paneled double-leaf doors flanked by sidelights and surmounted by a rectangular transom, set within a paneled surround. The flanking bays are defined by tripartite jib windows, with 6/6 sash above paneled jib doors flanked on either side by vertical 2/2 sash, surmounted by a segmental-arched recess. A similar jib window occupies the central bay on the second story; the flanking bays hold 6/6 sash. All the openings have granite sills. On the north elevation, a side entrance opens into the stair hall. The south side of the ell is spanned by a two-story gallery. A frame addition of ca. 1890, clad in German siding, extends the ell by one bay. The interior is laid out in a center-hall plan, with large parlors flanking the entrance hall; the ell functions as a service wing and holds the stair hall. The interior decorative detailing remains largely intact, including stair and balustrade, symmetrically molded architraves with corner blocks, doors with two narrow vertical panels, original mantels in most rooms (including an outstanding black marble mantel in the south parlor), and molded plaster ceiling decoration. Also on the property are a 1 ½-story stone and frame tenant house, contemporaneous with the main house, and the stone foundations of a 19th-century barn and a stable. Two small frame utility sheds of recent date do not contribute to the significance of the resource.

Significance: Wester Ogle is significant for its architecture, and for its association with the Lyon family, prominent in Baltimore County and City since the mid-18th century. Architecturally, the c. 1842 "estate house" represents a well-preserved example of a country residence of the period reflecting both Federal and classical influences. Characteristic features include the symmetrical plan and elevation, hipped roof, and smooth stucco finish, and such details as the tripartite jib windows set within recessed segmental arches. On the interior, the house retains the majority of its original decorative detailing, including the stair and balustrade, architrave trim, paneled doors and interior shutters, mantels, and plaster ceiling ornament. A surviving tenant house, contemporaneous with the main dwelling, contributes to the significance from its association with the Lyon family, whose members were among the first settlers in the area in the mid-18th century and went on to achieve prominence in local commercial, political, and military affairs through the 19th century. The property upon which Wester Ogle is located has remained in the Lyon family since approximately 1745; the house has been occupied by five continuous generations of Lyonses since its construction.




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