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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: MHT Files, n.d.
Langley Park
Inventory No.: PG:65-7
Other Name(s): McCormick-Goodhart Mansion
Date Listed: 8/29/2008
Location: 8151 15th Avenue, Hyattsville, Prince Georges County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1924
Architect/Builder: Architect: George Oakley Totten, Jr.
Description: Langley Park is a Georgian Revival estate mansion, built in 1924 of brick, clay tile, and concrete, circa 180 by 40 feet; the exterior is of brick with cast-stone trim. It consists of a three-part, three-story, hip-roof main block, with a lower kitchen wing extending to the east. The main block comprises a central three-bay square of 40 by 40 feet flanked by two symmetrical three-bay wings, 34 by 34 feet, which are slightly inset from the central bock on both facades. The principal south entrance is distinguished by a monumental two-story pedimented Ionic portico. The double door, beneath a round arched doorway in the central bay, is flanked by fluted columns and surmounted by a fluted frieze and wave molding within a keystone arch. A smaller door has replaced the original double door, and the space around it and that in the surmounting fanlight have been infilled with grooved plywood. Above the south door at the second-floor level is a double door (now missing) with a small metal-grille balcony. Flanking the three-bay central section are two symmetrical three-bay wings, 34 by 34 feet each, and three stories high. The 6/6 sash windows of the first story have flat brick arches with cast stone keystones, and each is set in a shallow recessed arch with cast stone keystone and impost blocks. Windows on the second story, also 6/6, have plain flat arches. Most of the window sashes throughout the house have been destroyed or removed, and all openings are now boarded up. The south facade of the main block and flanking wings is clearly defined by four fluted pilasters surmounted by an architrave, plain frieze, and dentiled cornice. The rear, north, elevation reflects some of the same features as the south facade, with the architrave, frieze, and dentiled cornice. Fluted pilasters appear here, but in a different configuration. The north door is set in an inset arch with keystone and impost blocks, and that space has been infilled with board. Above the door at the second level is a rectangular concrete plaque with the raised coat of two flying bees; above the shield is a crest consisting of a beehive flanked by two bees sand surmounted by a rainbow terminating in clouds. Beneath the shield is a banner with “A Deo Omnia,” and on the sides of the shield is the date 1924. The north door opens onto a 12 by 40 foot terrace which was originally bounded by a balustrade with sculpted lions (no longer extant). As in the south facade, the three-bay flanking wings of the main block are slightly inset on the north elevation; unlike the south facade, however, only two fluted pilasters mark the north elevation of the flanking wings, outside and enclosing the three bays of these wings. A one-story porch (10 feet by 24) shelters the door that is centered in the west elevation. Plain Tuscan columns support the cornice and frieze. There is a single shed dormer at third level in the west elevation. The two-story hip-roofed kitchen wing, simpler and without the wide cornice of the main block, extends to the east. The interior of the main block features a large entry salon, formal living room, and dining room with fine Classical Revival detail, and a particularly fine double staircase with jigsawn grillwork and second-story gallery. The building, once the centerpiece of a 500-acre estate, is now surrounded by low-rise garden apartment units. The building is in deteriorated condition, but is in the process of being carefully restored. Significance: Langley Park is architecturally significant as a nearly unique example in Prince George’s County of a great country house of the 1920s; it embodies the distinctive characteristics of an early-20th century estate mansion of the Georgian Revival style. The residence was designed in 1924 by leading Washington, D.C., architect George Oakley Totten, Jr., for Frederick and Henrietta McCormick-Goodhart, an affluent Anglo-American couple who had purchased more than 500 acres northwest of Bladensburg. The McCormick-Goodharts named their new property after the Goodhart family’s Elizabethan estate house in Kent, England. They contracted with architect Totten to design a great house--a massive three-story Georgian Revival mansion with monumental Ionic portico, with the interior lavishly decorated with plaster cornices and medallions, Colonial Revival style mantels, and an elaborate double staircase and gallery. The property was sold by the McCormick-Goodhart heirs in 1947. The mansion and 25 acres then became the center for the Eudist Fathers, a French Canadian Catholic order. In 1963, the property was purchased by a real estate syndicate, and the Willowbrook garden apartment units were built all around the mansion. Until the 1990s, the mansion itself served as a school for the local community.

 

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