Peter E. Kurtze
George Widrick House
Ballenger Creek Pike (MD 180), Frederick, Frederick County
The George Widrick House is a Federal period brick dwelling, 9 bays wide, 2 1/2 stories high on a low fieldstone foundation facing south. The building consists of two contemporaneous sections: the four eastern bays form the main block which has a side-passage, double-pile plan, and the five bays to the west are a service wing, one room deep, recessed behind a two-story porch. The south facade of the main block is laid in Flemish bond; all the other walls are 5-course common bond. The principal entrance consists of a door with a diamond-pane transom in the west bay. The recessed south facade of the wing has doors in the second and fourth bays from the west end, the first-floor doors having traceried transoms. All four of these doors are six-panel doors set in paneled reveals. On the upper level, the porch retains its original tapered, chamfered posts, railing, and balustrade. All windows are 6/6 sash set in beaded surrounds with wooden shutters. All window and door openings have stone sills and splayed jack arches. A three-course corbeled cornice defines the eaves. The east gable end is symmetrical, with two 6/6 sash windows on each level and another smaller 6/6 sash centered in the peak to light the half-story. A broad flush chimney stack with a two-course corbeled cap straddles the ridge on this gable end, and an interior chimney rises from the center of the wing. The west end is pierced only by a 6/6 window in the gable peak, and the flush chimney on this gable end is offset to the north of the ridge. The north facade is 7 bays long, formerly with windows in every bay of every floor except for the third and sixth from the east end. One first-floor window has been bricked up and one second-floor window has been lowered. The interior is distinguished by a wealth of late Federal decorative detailing, including mantels, paneling, chair rail, baseboard, and architraves, stair and balustrade, and plaster ceiling medallions; the richness and variety of this detail are outstanding among rural houses of the period in the country. Also on the property is a small brick smokehouse and the stone foundation of a barn.
The George Widrick House is significant for its architecture. Its form, essentially a side-passage, double-pile dwelling with a two-room service wing extending from the side and spanned by a two-story recessed porch, represents a building type whose geographical distribution in Maryland is limited to the Pennsylvania-influenced central and western regions of the state, and whose occurrence is generally associated with the second quarter of the 19th century. The Widrick House is an especially well preserved example of this building type, and derives additional distinction from its extensive interior decorative detailing, nearly all of which survives intact. The richness, variety, and fine workmanship of its interior woodwork which combines Federal and Classical forms are outstanding among rural houses of the period in Frederick County.