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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Jeff Winstel, 03/2007
Glenview Farm
Inventory No.: M: 26-17
Other Name(s): Rockville Civic Center
Date Listed: 10/10/2007
Location: 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville, Montgomery County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1838, pre-1904, c. 1917, 1926
Architect/Builder: Architects: Irwin S. Porter and Joseph A. Lockie; Lansdscape Architect: James H. Small III
Description: Glenview Farm consists of a 1926 Neo-Classical Revival style house on 65 acres of landscaped ground in Rockville. The building contains a central core fronted by a two-story portico, with hyphens and appendages forming a Palladian inspired stone facade, and additional wings and appendages located on the rear and side elevations. The mansion faces south on a high plateau, overlooking Rockville. The present building is a T-shaped 2 1/2-story Neo-Classical Revival style building. In 1926, the original 1838 structure was completely subsumed by the current architecture, providing only minor physical evidence of its existence. Two alterations to the property, one predating 1904 and one dating from approximately 1917, make identifying remnants of the different structures difficult. The core of the building has a hip roof, and while a hip roof is evident in photographs from both 1904 and the early 1920s, these is no evidence this was the 1838 roof profile. There are three principal wings attached to the core of the building: two side wings flanking the center separated by "curtain wings" or false hyphens, and a rear wing. The side and rear wings are end-gabled with double chimneyed ends. The rear wing is slightly off center and extends back several bays from the core block. A photograph of the front of the house taken before the 1926 renovation shows the core block with two wings attached to the east. The roof is a compilation of several gable roofs that abut perpendicular walls or other gable roofs, covered with slate shingles. Sheet copper covers the dormers and the rear arcade roof. The one anomaly in the roofline is the center block eave oriented gable intersecting the apex of an earlier hip roof. Common features of the elevations throughout the building include the random ashlar stone facing. The stone is light buff color granite, with some rose coloration. All the wood trim pieces, columns, porticos, and stucco facing are painted white. A total of 6 double chimneys sit flush with the gable ends, two at the east and west elevations of the main block, and two each at the north and south gable ends of the side wings. In each case, a false parapet gable end wall is created; the lower edges of the gable slopes extend out slightly beyond the wall, adding to the parapet effect. Six individual fanlights are found on the building. These are surrounded by stone voussoirs, rest on stone sills, and have an 8/4 light pattern. Dormers are gabled with shiplap wood siding and have copper standing seam roofs, or eyebrow dormers housing 4-light fanlights and covered with copper sheathing. Second-story windows are 6/6 sash with stone sills. Almost all of the second-floor windows have louvered black shutters and scrolled iron dogs. The first floor 6/6 sash windows are somewhat taller and the shutters are paneled, not louvered. The facade of the mansion is dominated by the projecting two-story classical portico, characterized by a moderately sloped gable roof with projecting molded cornice and modillions. A cornice, pain frieze, and simple molded architrave rest on the four 2-story Doric columns that define the three bays of the portio. The second floor space under the gable is a sleeping room, lined with French doors and sidelights, divided by the columns. Each French door is surrounded by sidelights and a transom. The central French door is topped by a lunette. Metal grillwork with a running Greek key top band over scrolls forming stylized acanthus leaves defines the balustrade between the columns. The first floor of the portico is recessed behind the columns and is relatively plain compared to the multi-paned French door, transom, and sidelight wall projecting above. The central section contains a solid wood 4-panel door over which is a 3-light transom. The door is framed in an attenuated classical surround with a small entablature and projecting molded cornice. The flanking bays each contain the building's standard first-floor window. Significance: The Glenview Farm (now Rockville Civic Center Park) is a 65-acre complex centered by a 1926 Neo-Classical Revival five-part mansion that incorporates the remnants of the 1838 house called "Glenview." The property is historically significant for its association with Rockville's early-20th century estate era. This gentleman's far exemplifies the lifestyle of elite Washingtonians who started building summer residences in the first third of the 20th century. The property is also architecturally significant as an example of Neo-Classical Revival architecture, with the characteristic symmetry, pedimented entry with entablature and columns, Classical motifs, and semicircular arched windows. The design of the grounds and gardens is also significant as an expression of the rustic juxtaposed with the formal. The grouping of trees by species around the open lawn creates a naturalistic effect while the terracing and geometric patterns are elements of an ordered arrangement imposed on a natural environment. The 1838 house was expanded and rebuilt to its present five-part classical composition by the Irene and J. Alexander Lyon family of Washington, D.C. Since 1957 the house and grounds have been owned by the City of Rockville, and are used for various civic, cultural and social events.


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