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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Jennifer K. Cosham, 04/25/2006
St. Euphemia's School and Sisters' House
Inventory No.: F-6-41
Date Listed: 9/13/1984
Location: 5052 DePaul Street , Emmitsburg, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1860; 1890
Description: St. Euphemia's School and Sisters' House is a late-19th century school complex that consists of two attached brick buildings related historically: a c. 1890 school building, the larger of the two, and a c. 1860 house that was used as a convent. The school building is a 2 1/2-story common-bond brick building, 9 bays wide by 5 deep, on a high stone foundation, with a centered cross-gable on the north and south elevations, which tops the central three bays of each side, which project slightly from the main facade. Centered in either cross gable and attic end gable is a round-arched 4/4 sash window with a round brick arch. The building is constructed on a coursed fieldstone foundation, pierced by eight 3/3 sash windows on the front facade. These continue on the sides and in the rear at regular intervals. The building is characterized by tall narrow 4/4 sash windows with two-light transoms and splayed jack arches. The central entrance on the north facade, and one on the west gable end, each consist of a double door with two, two-light transoms recessed into a paneled entrance. The building is covered with a standing-seam metal roof with a modillion cornice. A small corbeled chimney rises from the interior of the east gable end. A similar chimney on the west end was removed after 1949. The interior of the building is primarily characterized by the main hallways on the first level, the classrooms, and the large transom of 18 lights located over the entrance to the main stairs. The interior of the school is simple with four- and six-panel doors, plain woodwork, and narrow board wainscoting. Attached to the east gable end of the school is the Sisters' House. Although 3 stories in height to the school's 2 1/2 stories, the Sisters' House is actually shorter. Its third story mansard roof is at the same height as the second story of the adjacent school building. Seven bays wide by two deep, the building has a four bay by two bay two-story addition built onto the south facade. The north facade has an entrance in its third bay from the east end, with a five-light transom. The original twin doors which led into the foyer have been replaced. The interior main entrance doors are narrow twin paneled doors with decorative copper wheel cut glass windows in floral designs. A large three-light transom with sidelights with matching copper wheel cut glass in a geometric design surrounds the door. The remaining bays hold 6/6 sash windows with decorative hood molding supported by two small brackets. A similar entablature is supported by two scrolled brackets over the entrance. The Sisters' House is covered by a standing seam metal mansard roof with a bracketed cornice. Each of the seven bays across the north and south facades, and the two bays of the east end facade, holds a hip-roofed 4/4 sash dormer window in the mansard roof. The rear wing attached to the south facade of the building is devoid of any decoration. Windows of 6/6 sash with jack arches are located in each bay except for a narrow bay on the east facade. A small one-bay-wide vertical board shed-roofed addition covers the rear entrance to the Sisters' House. On the interior, each room is entered through a decorative vertical six-panel door with a three-light transom and surround. Circular plaster medallions are centered in each room. Also on the ceiling is a plaster border with square medallions in each corner and a small cornice. A decorative plaster ceiling medallion is also located in the center hall where a modestly ornate open stair with turned newel post and balustrade rises to the third level. Significance: St. Euphemia's School and Sisters' House is significant in the history of Emmitsburg. St. Euphemia's School was established in the late 1870s and moved to this building upon its completion in 1890. It functioned as the only Catholic school in Emmitsburg and the surrounding area of northern Frederick County until the middle of the 20th century when the school was dissolved and the building became a part of St. Joseph's High School. The school and the accompanying convent, which is an earlier structure, are landmarks in the townscape. The school building is significant as an intact example of a turn of the 20th century rural western Maryland school of which few examples remain with as high a degree of integrity of design, materials, and workmanship of the period.
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