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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Susan G. Pearl, 02/1993
Inventory No.: PG:70-20
Date Listed: 7/25/1994
Location: 5626 Bell Station Road , Glenn Dale, Prince Georges County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1812, c. 1832
Description: Marietta, a 2 1/2-story brick Federal house, begun c. 1812, has a traditional I-house plan. The main block is five bays by two, and entrance is through the central bay of the south facade. Attached to the north of the main block at right angles is a two-story rear wing, built c. 1832, and attached to the west gable end is an L-shaped wing added in 1968. The bricks of the south facade are laid in Flemish bond, while the other elevations are laid in 5-course common bond. The principal entrance in the main block has a semicircular fanlight enframed by a round brick arch with molded wood keystone. Windows have stone sills and splayed flat-arch lintels with central keystones. Those on the first floor are 9/9 sash while those above are 9/6. The cornice is ornamented with alternately projecting bricks in dentil pattern above one course of brick corbeling. There is a flush chimney at each gable end, flanked by small 4/4 sash windows in the attic gable. These are the only openings on the gable ends of the building. The interior of the main block has a central stairhall flanked by a single room on either side. The open-string staircase has a slim turned newel, plain rectangular balusters, bracketed stair-ends, and a paneled spandrel. All rooms have wood mantels of the Federal style. Marietta stands on terraced, landscaped grounds with two contemporary outbuildings: a brick law office and a stone and brick root cellar/harness storage room. The root cellar, in ruinous condition, is constructed of local iron-bearing sandstone, with mortar embellished by galletting, up to the gable pitch. Above this, it is constructed of three-course common bond. Significance: Marietta is an important example in Prince George's County of a late Federal-style brick house. Moderate in size and restrained in its decorative elements, it differs from the grander mansions of the period (e.g., Bowieville and Mattaponi); it provides, however, a visible example of a traditional I-house form in the Federal style. Marietta was built for Gabriel Duvall, one of Prince George's County's most outstanding citizens. Born in 1752, Duvall pursued a career of public service which lasted for more than 60 years. After serving in several positions during the Revolutionary War, he served in the Maryland House of Delegates, the United States Congress, the Maryland Supreme Court, and as Comptroller of the U.S. Treasury under Thomas Jefferson. Soon after 1812, when he was appointed by President James Madison to the U.S. Supreme Court, Duvall began construction of Marietta. Over the next 20 years he developed the plantation, and constructed a substantial rear wing for added living space. He served on the Supreme Court until 1835; in January of that year he retired to spend the rest of his life at Marietta, where he died in 1844. Marietta remained the residence of his heirs until 1902.


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