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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Jennifer K. Cosham, 04/25/2006
Victor Cullen Center Old Administration Building
Inventory No.: F-6-21B
Date Listed: 8/22/1990
Location: Cullen Drive , Sabillasville, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1907
Architect/Builder: Architects: Wyatt and Nolting, Baltimore
Description: The Old Administration Building is a seven bay, 2 1/2 story stone and frame structure located on a hillside and facing south. It has four stone chimneys, two on each gable end, a slate roof with dormers and a modillion block cornice. A parapet with a lunette window connects the chimneys. The principal entrance has a circular fanlight under an elliptical frame and complex, leaded sidelights. A pedimented porch with an elliptical ceiling covers the entrance. It has a dentiled cornice and an elliptical arch with a keystone between two pairs of Roman Doric columns. On the second floor over the porch is a three-part, flat-headed window. To the rear, but connected to the administration building, is the original dining hall and kitchen. The first floor is stone and the second frame with a hipped roof. Eight detached frame patient pavilions once flanked these buildings. These T-shaped buildings (now demolished) each accommodated 20 patients arranged in two wards or porches, 14 x 50 feet facing south. In the rear, the stem of the T, were dressing rooms, toilet, and bath facilities. They were not heated and every part of every room had cross ventilation and light on opposite sides. Between the porch columns were large sliding sashes arranged for maximum air even during inclement weather when the beds needed protection. Significance: The significance of the Old Administration Building at the Victor Cullen Center is derived from association with the Maryland Tuberculosis Sanitorium, the first state sponsored institution of its type in Maryland. In response to a marked increase in the number of cases of tuberculosis in the state and the absence of private medical facilities for treatment, the Maryland General Assembly approved funds for the construction and maintenance of a sanitorium on April 5, 1906. An appropriation of $50,000 for each year, 1907 and 1908, for land purchase and building construction and a $15,000 annual support beginning in 1907 was to be paid to a Board of Managers for the new sanatorium. Based on designs drawn by the Baltimore architectural firm of Wyatt and Nolting, development of the complex began in 1907. The first structure was the Administration Building followed by the Power House in 1908 and various other buildings in succeeding years. Today only the Administration Building and Power House remain from the period when the institution functioned as the tuberculosis sanatorium before conversion to the Victor Cullen School. Unfortunately these buildings are separated by expanses of non-contributing new structures. Although the setting of the institution and a significant number of the historic elements have been destroyed over time, the Maryland Tuberculosis Sanatorium is an important milestone historically in the state's efforts to maintain the general welfare of its population. Four similar institutions were built by the state, but not until the 1920s using the Frederick County institution as the basis for designing the state's continued involvement in the health of the citizens.


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