Skip to Main Content

Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Cleora Barnes Thompson, 06/1980
Dorsey Hall
Inventory No.: HO-28
Date Listed: 12/28/2001
Location: 5100 Dorsey Hall Drive , Ellicott City, Howard County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1800
Description: Dorsey Hall is a six bay by one bay, 2 1/2-story stucco structure with a gable roof covered with asphalt shingles. This comprises the center and east sections of the house. Facing south, the house has a three bay by one bay, two-story stuccoed wing on the west. The first story of the main block has large 6/6 windows in the two west bays. The west-center bay has a six-panel door flanked by Greek Doric columns separating the door from 16-light sidelights. There is a 10-light transom above the door and a 4-light transom above each sidelight. Soffit and jambs are also paneled. There is a one-story porch with a brick deck, paired Greek Doric columns at each corner with a single pilaster on each wall, and a full entablature with pediment. The three east bays have 4/4 sash windows on the first story. The second story has 12/8 windows in the two west bays, while the four east bays have 9/6 windows. The south elevation of the west wing has 9/9 sash windows in the end bays of the first story. The second story has three 6/6 sash. There is a wooden box cornice with an ogee bed mold on both the main block and the wing. A flush brick chimney rises from both the east and west gable ends, and an exterior brick chimney on the east abuts the flush chimney. The roof has three gable-roofed dormer windows on the south side. On the interior, the first-story floor plan has an off-center passage with one room to the east, two rooms to the west of the passage, in the center of the whole house, a wing on the west side with one room and a stairway, and a wing on the north side of the center rooms with two rooms in it. There are no outbuildings to the property, and the ground has been re-graded so that it slopes away from the house at a greater angle than originally. The house is now surrounded by two-story office buildings. Significance: Dorsey Hall is significant architecturally, as it embodies the distinctive characteristics of a well-preserved and detailed example of the vernacular dwellings of the early 19th century in Howard County. Where some buildings were constructed in one period in a typical center-passage Georgian mode, others, like Dorsey Hall, evolved into that pattern over many years, often resulting in a less-symmetrical building. Dorsey Hall is a good example of this kind of development. It is also significant for its association with the Dorsey family, one of the "first families" of Howard County.


Return to the National Register Search page