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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: Jim M. Kilvington, 09/1975
Senator William P. Jackson House, site
Inventory No.: WI-35
Date Listed: 9/28/1976
Location: 514 Camden Avenue , Salisbury, Wicomico County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1893
Description: The Senator William P. Jackson House was a 3 1/2-story frame house, facing east on Camden Avenue. The house was torn down in November of 1976, after a ten-year battle to save it. Completed in 1892, the Queen Anne style frame dwelling was supported on a raised brick foundation. The exterior was clad in a combination of narrow weatherboard siding and fishscale shingles. The steeply pitched hip roof, as well as the towers and gable-roofed wings, were covered with slate. The house had a central entrance on the east facade, and flanking twin towers with conical roofs rising on the northeast and southeast corners. The double door was flanked by 1/1 sash windows. Curved glass 1/1 sash windows pierced each tower. Stretching across the entire first floor front of the house was a Tuscan-columned porch with a balustrade, distinguished by a classical pediment entrance bay and round sides that wrapped around to the north and south. On the north side, the porch incorporated a porte cochere. Centered on the second floor was a curved shed-roofed balcony supported on paired or tripartite columns. On each side the rounded towers were pierced by curved 1/1 sash windows. The third floor or attic story was marked by the conical roofs of each tower that flanked a large gable-front pediment of the main block. The base of the tower roofs as well as the center pediment featured modillion block cornices. The top of each tower had a metal finial. The whole attic story was sheathed in wood shingles in contrast to the weatherboard siding of the first and second floors. The north side of the main block was an asymmetrical elevation with a large two-story gable-front pavilion that extended forward from the main hip-roofed block. Centered on the hip roof was a large hip-roofed dormer. The upper attic was illuminated by an eyebrow window. Piercing the roofline of the pavilion was an internal brick chimney. The south side of the house was distinguished by a projecting pavilion featuring a rounded front pierced by curved 1/1 sash windows. The corresponding curved roof featured a hip-roofed dormer with paired 1/1 sash windows. The south side of the porch wrapped around to meet this rounded front pavilion. The two bays adjacent to the rounded pavilion were enclosed with glass partitions. A hip-roofed dormer fitted with a 1/1 sash window lit the attic. Piercing the roofline were internal brick stove chimneys. On the interior, the hardware was silver plated and fireplaces were tiled. The flooring of the first floor had four layers: a sub-floor, flat boards of number one pine, a finish floor of heart-rift pine, and an oak floor installed in about 1930. To the rear of the house, there were stables, built about c. 1915, which were similar to original ones which burned. Significance: The Senator Jackson House was significant in the areas of architecture and politics. Built by William P. Jackson about 1893, the house attested to the elegance and elaborate lifestyle of the time. William P. Jackson was appointed United States Senator from Maryland to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Isidor Raynor. He took his seat in the Senate in December 1912. During his term in office, distinguished guests entertained at the house included Governor Goldsborough and Thomas R. Marshall, Vice President of the United States during Woodrow Wilson's two terms. Senator Jackson was defeated by Blair Lee, his Democratic opponent, in a popularly held election in 1914. William P. Jackson was the last senator from Maryland to serve in the U.S. Congress before passage of the 17th Amendment in 1912. This amendment required that senators be elected by a popular vote, rather than being appointed by the State Legislature. Jackson's successor, Blair Lee, was the first U.S. Senator from Maryland to be elected by the people of the state. Popularly referred to as "The Towers" when the Jackson family inhabited it, the interior of the house displayed evidence of highly skilled craftsmanship. Silver plated hardware, tiled fireplaces and splendid paneling were among the highlights of the Senator Jackson House.
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