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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: MHT File Photo, 03/1980
Williams Plains
Inventory No.: PG:71B-3
Other Name(s): Wilson's Plaines
Date Listed: 11/28/1980
Location: White Marsh Park Drive in White Marsh Recreation Park , Bowie, Prince Georges County
Category: Structure
Period/Date of Construction: early-mid 19th century
Description: Williams Plains is a 2 1/2-story brick house, with a Flemish bond south facade and six-course common bond used for the remaining walls. The principal entrance is in the center bay of the three-bay front facade, and consist of double three-panel doors with rectangular sidelights and transom, surrounded by a mid-20th century Classical Revival frontispiece and reached by a modern brick porch and steps with a metal railing. The principal windows are 6/6 sash, with brick flat arches and louvered shutters, which are not original. The second-story center window is now split into two narrow windows. The rear elevation also has three symmetrical bays with a Classical Revival frontispiece door in the center bay. A small window now lights a bathroom under the staircase on the first floor, immediately to the right of this door. Two massive flush chimneys rise from either gable end of the standing-seam metal roof, with a lunette window with tracery between the stacks on the second floor of each end wall. A much lower 2 1/2-story wing, likely dating to 1942, projects from the northern portion of the east side. The bricks of the wing are laid in stretcher bond, and is a veneer over frame construction. Both the main block and the wing have stepped cornices. The wing is two bays by two bays, with a single flush chimney in its east gable end. An entrance door stands to the right of this chimney, and windows flank the chimney on the second floor. On the interior, the rooms of the main block are arranged around a center hallway with double parlors to the west and two smaller rooms separated by a hall perpendicular to the center hall on the east. The smaller hall leads into the wing and provides access to the northeast rooms. The second floor arrangement is identical except that the south end of the center hall now contains two bathrooms. The woodwork throughout the main house is heavy in proportion, simple and plain in design. Stylistically, the decorative detailing has a Greek Revival influence particularly evident in the broad plain expanses of the door and window trim, mantels, and baseboard. Significance: Williams Plains is an early to mid-19th century brick house which is significant primarily for the Greek Revival influenced interior decorative detailing which remains almost completely intact and thus is an excellent and somewhat rare record of domestic architecture in Prince George's County in the first half of the 19th century. The dominant design elements which characterize the decorative detailing are trim, mantels, and paneled doors. Although it is not certain for whom Williams Plains was erected, the house can be viewed as an indicator of the social and economic status of the occupants, and in a broader sense, of Prince George's County.
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