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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT Files, n.d.
Carrollton Hall
Inventory No.: HO-16
Other Name(s): Folly Quarter
Date Listed: 12/16/2014
Location: 12280 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City, Howard County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1831-1924
Architect/Builder: Architect: William F. Small
Description: Carrollton Hall is a 2 1/2-story, three-bay by three-bay smooth granite ashlar building with a quarry-faced granite ashlar foundation and a gable roof with a north-south ridge. Constructed in 1831-32, the house exemplifies the Greek Revival style in both its exterior form and its interior detailing. The west elevation has a tetrastyle Greek Doric portico in granite, with monolithic columns, in the center bay. The east elevation has a matching tetra style Greek Doric portico in the center bay. Both porticos are accessed by eight risers set between granite cheek walls. The center bay on the east and west façades contains a new metal double door with a transom of leaded diamond lights, flanked by 1/1 sash windows with leaded diamond lights. The walls on either side of the doorways are roughcast. The end bays on the east facade have tripartite aluminum windows with wrought iron balconies on the first story, with a recessed panel above. Those on the west façade contain 6/6 aluminum sash, with a recessed panel above. There is a shallow plain belt course on this façade, between the recessed panels and the second-story aluminum sash windows, of which there are three. The east façade has three wooden 6/6 sash windows on the second story. On both facades. The second-story center bay projects slightly, with a parapet above the granite cornice. On the east façade, the center bay on the second story has wide pilaster strips on the ends, creating a pavilion front with a recessed window opening. The south elevation has three 6/6 aluminum sash on the first story, with recessed panels above the end-bay windows and a pair of six-light casements above the center bay. The second-story end bays have 6/6 wood sash, and the center-bay opening is covered with corrugated fiberglass. The gable end has a pair of 12-light casements in the center bay with shorter 6-light casements in the end bays. The north elevation has a cellar entrance in the center of the foundation. The first and second stories each have three 6/6 aluminum sash, with a recessed panel between the stories in each bay. The gable end has a pair of 12-light casements in the center bay with shorter 6-light casements in the end bays, as on the south elevation. The first story has a center passage that opens to a large saloon with a cross-passage between them, and with the stairway to the south of the cross-passage. There are rooms in the southwest and southeast corners, and a double parlor on the north. The saloon ceiling is a coffered barrel vault. The second story has a square room in the center, with a domed ceiling with an eight-light oculus in the center. Other contributing resources include a stone retaining wall apparently contemporary with the house, and a stone outbuilding built ca. 1910. Significance: Carrollton Hall is architecturally significant in that it embodies the distinctive characteristics of a grand Greek Revival country villa. These characteristics include granite ashlar construction, symmetrical massing, low-pitched gable roof, projecting entrance pavilions with strong columned porticos; the interior features vaulted ceilings, symmetrical architrave molding with bull's-eye corner blocks, and marble mantels and plaster trim incorporating classical motifs. The house was designed by Baltimore architect William F. Small, who apprenticed with Benjamin Henry Latrobe in Baltimore and Washington from 1818 to 1820. It was built by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the only surviving signer at the time, on 1000 acres of his Doughoregan Manor estate for his granddaughter Emily MacTavish in 1831-32. Small had collaborated with Dr. William Howard, an amateur artist and civil engineer and an aficionado of Greek Revival architecture, on several buildings in Baltimore, and Carrollton Hall shows the influence of Howard on Small's work. The house was designed in a five-part plan with hyphens and wings, but these were meant to be added later, and this never occurred. The house remained a country retreat and farm until 1924, when it was sold to a developer and the farm was subdivided. The novitiate of the Franciscan Fathers Minor Conventuals of Maryland purchased the mansion in 1928. At that time the house became temporary living space for the friars and offices for various church functions. The period of significance, 1831-1924, begins with the construction of the house and ends with the transfer of the property out of its original use as a country estate.
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