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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: R. Chidester, 08/2004
Abraham Hall
Inventory No.: PG:62-7
Date Listed: 3/13/2005
Location: 7612 Old Muirkirk Road , Beltsville, Prince Georges County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1889
Architect/Builder: Builder: John W. Jackson
Description: Abraham Hall, constructed in 1889, is located on the northeast side of Old Muirkirk Road in the center of the historic African American community of Rossville. Its secluded setting consists of woodlands to the southwest and northeast and scattered houses to the northwest and southeast. Abraham Hall is set back from the road on a 3.85-acre grassy lot with mature trees. Abraham Hall is a three-bay, two-story gable front frame lodge building with a brick foundation, wood lap siding with cornerboards, and a shake roof with a boxed cornice. A brick chimney rises from the northwest slope of the roof. The main entry is located in the center of the front (southwest) elevation and consists of five-panel double doors with a drip cap. The 2/2 sash windows have plain surrounds with drip caps, louvered shutters, and cast iron shutter dogs. On the west corner of the building is a one-story, one-bay gable-front restroom addition with a single window on its northwest side. On the northeast side (rear) of the building is a one-story gable-roofed addition with a concrete foundation and a standing-seam metal roof. The interior of Abraham Hall consists of single large rooms on the first and second floors. The first floor has a wood floor, wide beadboard wainscoting, and drywall upper walls with exposed chamfered beams. The window surrounds are molded with bull's-eye corner blocks. The baseboard is simple and recent, and there is no crown molding. A low, shallow stage occupies the northeast addition to the building. An original staircase with a closet beneath occupies the south corner. A recent kitchen had been partitioned off along the northwest wall, and a recent restroom occupies the addition on the west corner. The second floor has the same finishes as the first floor and a wood and glass display cabinet built into the west corner. Both the interior and exterior of the building were carefully restored between 1986 and 1991 using original materials or in-kind replacements. Significance: Abraham Hall is significant for its association with the end of Reconstruction in Prince George's County (1872-1896), the institution of government-sanctioned segregation in Prince George's County (1896-1913), and the African American experience of suburban settlement in Prince George's County (1896-1964). These themes are set forth in the Multiple Property Documentation for African American Historic Resources in Prince George's County, Maryland. Abraham Hall was constructed by the Benevolent Sons and Daughters of Abraham, an African American society that was established for the social welfare of its members. Originally known as Rebecca Lodge #6 of the Benevolent Sons and Daughters of Abraham, the building was constructed by John W. Jackson in 1889 in the burgeoning community of Rossville. Abraham Hall, an excellent example of a multi-purpose building associated with African Americans, served as a meeting hall, a house of worship, a school, and a social hall for African Americans living in a segregated society.

 

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