Photo credit: MHT File Photo , 04/1975

Property Name: Western Maryland College Historic District
Date Listed: 3/26/1976
Inventory No.: CARR-21
Location: W. Main Street & Uniontown Road, Westminster, Carroll County

Description: The Western Maryland College Historic District, Westminster, is situated within the confines of the present 100-plus acre college campus and comprises an area of about three acres at its southeast corner. The district is bounded on the south side by Uniontown Road and West Main Street, on the southwest by Union Street, on the northeast by a line running northwest to southeast paralleling the President's House and Little Baker Chapel, and on the northeast by a line running northwest to southwest and about 100 feet northwest of the rear of the President's House to West Main Street. Within this area stand six of the college's earliest surviving buildings and structures: Alumni Hall, Carroll Hall, Levine Hall, The President's House, Little Baker Chapel, and the Ward Memorial Arch. Only the President's House, Ward Memorial Arch, and Carroll Hall have their own semi-private settings. Alumni Hall, Baker Chapel, and Levine Hall occupy sites close to frequently traveled streets. All buildings, however, have tree shaded grounds and are a short walking distance from one another.

Significance: Western Maryland College was established under the auspices of the Maryland Annual Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church and chartered by an act of the Maryland Legislature in 1864. Consideration was first given to a site in the Baltimore City area but this was later changed to its present site in Westminster. The original 8-acre campus was acquired by the college's state-appointed Board of Directors in 1864 utilizing private monies. The site, although privately owned, was one that for many years was used by the citizens of Westminster as a meeting and picnicing area. Commonly referred to at that time as the "Old Commons," it was the scene of annual Fourth-of-July celebrations, political rallies, and during the Civil War was utilized by the Army of the Potomac to bivouac troops and for the placement of guns to protect the daily arrival of artillery on the nearby Western Maryland Railroad. The first building to be constructed, combining classrooms and dormitories, was known as the Main Building. Combining brick and stone, a regionally common building material, it was initially constructed in 1866, added to in 1871, 1887, and 1890, and demolished in 1956. About 14 other buildings were constructed on the 8-acre site between 1866 and 1900; but with the exception of those included in this nomination, all have been razed and other buildings erected on their sites. The structures nominated as an historic district are the oldest surviving architectural links with the 19th century beginnings of the college.




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