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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: MHT File Photo, Undated Photo
Inventory No.: HO-44
Other Name(s): Troy Hill
Date Listed: 6/22/1979
Location: Baltimore Washington Boulevard (US 1) , Elkridge, Howard County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1808
Description: Troy, built during the first quarter of the 19th century, is representative of the late Georgian style in Maryland architecture. The house, three bays wide and two deep, is 2 1/2 stories on the front and sides and 3 1/2 stories on the rear, where a basement level is exposed as the ground falls away at that point. The walls are constructed of uncoursed local fieldstone that contains large concentrations of oxidized iron, giving the structure an overall dull red hue. Large stones were placed in the front and rear facades, while smaller, more compact stones were employed in the side walls where monumentality and importance were not overlying concerns. The building's stark appearance is broken by decorative masonry that includes the placement of stone quoins at each corner of the building, as well as the use of large rectangular lintels subdivided by a stylized keystone, also of cut stone, shaped either as a normal four-sided keystone or in a more unusual pentagonal form. Upper and lower windows were vertically aligned within the walls. All windows, originally double hung sash with 6/6 lights, have been removed and the openings bricked in or boarded over to protect the house from vandals. Small basement windows are also found in the east, west, and north facades. In the east gable end of the building, placed symmetrically between the second story windows near the peak of the roof, a small semi-circular brick arch surmounts a rectangular attic window. A small attic window is also present in the west gable end, but appears without a semi-circular capping arch. As with the other major windows, all original woodwork has been removed. Entrances are located in the second bay on both front and rear facades. The original front door, now removed, is surmounted by a lintel and four-sided keystone treatment similar to that found in the fenestration. Another doorway found at the northeast end of the building led into what was originally the kitchen space. The simple gable roof is covered with modern tar paper and terminates with a simple boxed cornice with returns. Two massive brick chimneys with corbeled caps are placed within each gable end. The chimneys in the west end of the gable, as well as the chimney at the southeast end of the building, are identical. The fourth chimney, roughly twice the width of the others, is located in the southwest end of the roof. All the chimneys have common bond brickwork, and an overall crispness and shape that suggest they are part of a rebuilding carried out in the early 20th century. A small dormer is placed in the middle of the rear (north) facade and is also a 20th century addition. The remains of a number of outbuildings are extant near the main house. The nearest, foundation walls, are all that remain of two structures, most probably a smokehouse and dairy. Located farther from the main house are the ruins of a large barn, including its stone foundation walls and piers. The walls are of the same local iron-rich fieldstone used in the house. A 20th century trash pit, possibly with earlier remains, is also located a short distance from the rear of the house. Significance: Troy Hill is a large stone house built in the Georgian tradition during the first quarter of the 19th century (the building does not appear on the Federal Direct Tax of 1798 for Anne Arundel County). The building, begun in 1808 and erected over the next 20 years, is the finest building of its size and massive proportions constructed in this section of Howard County during this period. It is significant as a late example of this style and one that was executed in stone rather than the more usual brick, an obvious effort to achieve a high level of style for a county becoming increasingly more cosmopolitan. The details in the stonework are excellently executed. The lintels have pentagonal keystones and the quoins are neatly set off by stone equivalents of queen closers in brick masonry. Most of the interior woodwork, (which remains from the 1830s when it replaced the original after a fire) is in a well-crafted late Federal style. The storage cellar in the basement is of interest with its arched ceiling and ventilation system still largely intact. Troy also derives significance from its association with the prominent Dorsey family.


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