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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: E. Wallace, 09/2001
Stonebraker & Harbaugh, Shafer Building
Inventory No.: F-4-137
Other Name(s): Rudy's Hall
Date Listed: 12/27/2002
Location: 100-104 W. Main Street (Alt. US 40) , Middletown, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1830, 1896, 1910
Description: The Stonebraker & Harbaugh, Shafer Building is a large brick building, fronting onto the south side of West Main Street in Middletown. The main house and commercial complex were constructed c. 1830 as one large building with multiple functions. The two-story brick building, laid in Flemish bond at the front elevation with a corbeled cornice, is eight bays wide across the front (north) elevation. The eastern three bays comprise the main house, and consist of a door in the western bay and 6/6 sash windows with louvered shutters and splayed jack arches in the other two. Three 6/6 sash windows with the same shutters and arches span the second floor. The entrance is a Federal style doorway with an arched sunburst elliptical fanlight lined with standing bricks. The double front doors each have five oval panels and the jambs are paneled. The doorway also has louvered shutters. To the west, the commercial portion of the building is five bays wide, with doorways in the second and fifth bays from the east. The first and third bays, flanking the eastern double door, hold fixed single-pane windows with splayed jack arches. The western two bays consist of a wide 1/1 sash window opening with the same brick jack arch, and a single, half glass door with festoon carving in the bottom panel and a wood lintel above; this entrance bay was added c. 1896 when the upper story was converted from a warehouse to a public hall. The upper story windows of the commercial section are all 6/6 sash with splayed jack arches. However, there are only three windows arranged more or less symmetrically across the five first-floor bays. The building is constructed into a hill which falls from Main Street towards Washington Street. Along the east elevation, on Jefferson Street, the limestone foundation is exposed as the hill slopes away. The east gable end of the house, laid in five-course common bond, is a very wide two bays, with two 6/6 sash windows on either floor, in the outermost portions of the walls, two small windows in the stone foundation, and two small four-light attic windows. A massive flush paired chimney with connecting parapet rises from this gable end of the roof. A matching paired chimney was also located in the west gable end, but was removed c. 1896. The southeast corner of the roof has a low parapet of corbeled brick. The east elevation continues along Jefferson street in the form of a two-story gable-roofed wing, four bays wide. The first floor now holds two projecting bay windows. The larger of the two fills the two northernmost bays, and a shallow rectangular projecting pantry sheathed with German siding with a small window stands in the second bay from the south. The south window and the four on the second floor are 6/6 sash. The south gable end is pierced only by a small four-light window in the west side of the attic, below a flush chimney. The west facade of the wing is sheltered by a two-story galleried porch with transomed entrances and windows at both levels. The rear facade of the commercial portion of the building includes two entrances and several 6/6 windows. The main house interior is designed in the "half-Georgian" side hall and double parlor plan. Interior finishes reflect both Federal and Greek Revival styles. Significance: The Stonebraker & Harbaugh, Shafer Building is significant as an intact example of the transitional melding of two architectural styles, the Federal and Greek Revival, in a town setting. The main house section of the building has experienced remarkably few changes to its original architectural design since its construction c. 1830, retaining its original facade, interior moldings and mantels, decorative plasterwork, wall stenciling, and structural members. The adjoining commercial section of the building, constructed at the same time under the same roof, has experienced periodic changes to its interior arrangement, which are illustrative of the buidling's changing commercial functions. Although the two sections of the Stonebraker & Harbaugh, Shafer Building have historically quite different functions, their histories are tied together through consistent common ownership and through the significant presence of the building as a whole on the Middletown streetscape throughout much of the town's history.


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