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Maryland's National Register Properties



Photo credit: P. Kurtze, 1/23/2008
Robinson House
Inventory No.: AA-130
Other Name(s): Old Stone House
Date Listed: 9/30/2009
Location: 102 Evon Court, Severna Park, Anne Arundel County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1740
Description: Constructed c. 1740, the Robinson House is a stone, 1 1/2 story, gambrel-roofed building located on the old Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard (MD 648) in northern Anne Arundel County. The walls are constructed of red sandstone, locally known as ironstone, roughly squared and coursed in lime mortar. The building measures 40 feet wide by 24 feet deep, and is oriented along a north-south axis, presenting east and west facades to the Magothy River and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard respectively. Both facades are identical, three bays wide and symmetrically arranged with a central door flanked on either side by a single window. On the lower slope of the gambrel roof, three gable-roofed dormers define the bays. Windows on both levels are Victorian-era 2/2 sash set in beaded frames with wooden sills. Below the water table, the east side has three basement windows while the west has only one. The end walls have a central brick chimney which rises flush with the stone wall on the interior. The north end has one door and originally had no windows, though at present it has a small square window that was inserted when a bathroom was added. This small window replicated the five such original windows located on the south end, one on the first floor, two on the second, and two in the attic level flanking the chimney. The falling grade exposes the basement on the south end, and double doors at the southwest corner provide access. A brick patio measuring 8x20’ was constructed at the south end of the house c. 1985. The interior of the basement is whitewashed, while the first- and second-floor walls and ceilings are finished in plaster. Flooring on the upper level is currently oak, laid over the original pine. The first-floor plan comprises two spaces, with a living room on the south and a smaller dining room to the north. A partition which had created a central passage was removed in the first half of the 20th century, and it is unknown whether that partition was an original feature or an early addition. A narrow stair occupying a closet located to the west of the fireplace in the north room provides access to the basement and to the second floor; this stair was likely added in the 19th century. The principal stair is located in the larger south room; it has a closed string and the newel, handrail, and balusters reflect a late 19th century renovation. On the second floor, a master bedroom occupies the space to the north of the stair passage, and the area to the south is divided into two smaller chambers. In the attic, early pine floorboards are secured with wrought nails. Common rafters measure 3” by 4”, and are mortised at the ridge. Some are marked with Roman numerals. Sections of early chair rail are reused as railing for the attic stairs. In the basement, a 4’-wide pine batten door hangs on wrought strap hinges. The smaller of the two rooms, on the north side, contains a brick-arched fireplace. The larger south room has a cooking fireplace with a wooden lintel 16” in diameter and over 11 feet long. On the left side at the rear of this fireplace, a brick arch provides evidence of a former oven. In the late 1880s, a 20’ x 24’ 1 1/2 story stone addition was razed. The date of its construction is unknown, but may be pre-1815. A photograph from about 1886 shows this addition prior to demolition, and reveals that the original windows were 9/6 on the first floor, and that the dormers were originally shed-roofed and not aligned directly over the first-floor openings. Significance: The Robinson House is architecturally significant as a rare example of a type of house constructed in the Chesapeake Tidewater region in the mid-18th century. Its 1 ½-story, gambrel-roofed form is characteristic of the domestic vernacular architecture of the period in the region, but its stone construction is highly unusual; most examples of its type were executed in frame or brick. According to the 1798 Federal Direct Tax for Anne Arundel County, only 2% of the dwellings standing in the county at the end of the 18th century were constructed of stone. The house is presumed to have been constructed c. 1740, and substantially achieved its present form and appearance by c. 1880. A timber framed outbuilding and hand-dug well also were constructed during this period.

 

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