Ronald L. Andrews
George Truog House
230, Baltimore Avenue, Cumberland, Allegany County
The George Truog House is a c. 1903 2 1/2-story brick structure. A recessed porch spans the full three bays of the south facade, behind an arcade of three Gothic arches constructed of rusticated stone with sculptural keystones. The central arch rests on paired columns, and a flight of stone steps rises through the arch. Within the porch, the entrance is offset to the east, and consists of a wide door with a large oval plate-glass panel surmounted by a pointed-arch transom of beveled and engraved glass. A tripartite 1/1 sash window flanks the entrance on the west, and a single 1/1 window lies to the north. Lintels and sills are of stone. The recessed wall, like the rest of the south facade above the arcade, is constructed of yellow brick laid in common bond with fine joints of dark-colored mortar. The second story features octagonal oriel windows projecting from each corner. These oriels have steeply pitched octagonal roofs, clad in tile, with finials and flaring eaves. Each facet holds a large plate-glass casement window surmounted by an elaborate transom of stained and beveled leaded glass. The area below each window is filled with a panel enriched with swags and festoons. The oriels are supported by curved brackets. Between the oriels, a pair of plate-glass doors open onto a balcony. Each of these has a five-part enframement of colored, leaded glass. The balcony rests on curved brackets and has a balustrade. A two-part lancet-arched window with Gothic tracery is centered in the gable peak, within a stone-arched opening. The gable peak is topped by a finial. The east elevation is six irregular bays wide, with various windows of colored and etched glass or plain 1/1 sash. The second bay from the south contains an exterior paneled chimney with a tall corbeled stack. A projecting 2-story polygonal bay window occupies the third bay from the south. This polygonal bay window is topped by a cross gable, with brackets in the cutaway corners, a pair of 1/1 sash windows in the gable, and is topped with iron cresting and a finial. Similar iron cresting trims the main north/south roofline. A hip-roofed dormer with iron cresting and a 1/1 sash window pierces the east slope of the roof between the southeast oriel and the chimney. Another chimney rises from the interior, just north of the gable which caps the projecting bay. The roof is clad in patterned slate. Scroll-sawn brackets support the deep overhanging eaves. The interior plan is irregular. Despite minor alterations made when the building was converted to a funeral parlor, the majority of the original decorative detailing remains intact. The highly ornate interior details include mosaic and Delft tile fireplace surrounds, paneled wainscoting, molded ceiling ornament, and mural paintings.
The house is significant for its association with George Truog, proprietor of the Maryland Glass Etching Works in Cumberland from 1893-1911. Truog’s enterprise, billed as the only factory of its kind in the United States, specialized in etching and engraving designs and trademarks on glassware for advertising purposes. The George Truog House reflects this association by incorporating numerous examples of the glassmaker’s art, including windows, transoms, panels, and mirrors variously etched, chipped, engraved, beveled, stained, leaded, colored, and painted. The house derives architectural significance from this unique collection of decorative glass, in combination with other elements making up a richly-detailed eclectic design, the work of prominent local architect, Wright Butler.