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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Michael O. Bourne, 02/1996
Poplar Hill Mansion
Inventory No.: WI-8
Other Name(s): Pemberton's Good Will
Date Listed: 10/7/1971
Location: 117 Elizabeth Street , Salisbury, Wicomico County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: early 19th century
Description: Poplar Hill Mansion is the only early building with architectural merit to survive the devastating fires which swept through the city in 1860 and again in 1886. Its architectural features were outstanding for Salisbury in the early periods of the city and are now all that remains--the only building of its kind in the city. Poplar Hill Mansion is a frame, double-pile structure, built on a high brick basement. Its exterior walls are covered with pine clapboards painted white with 6" exposure to the weather and a 3/8" bead on each board. The south facade consists of a five-bay surface with the central unit of the first story carrying the entrance door with fanlight and pediment (a recent replacement), and the second story having a Palladian-style window with fluted pilasters and an architrave above each side window of the Palladian. The trim of which is similar to the main cornice. All other windows have 12/12 sash louvered shutters. The main cornice consists of a course of dentils, a quarter-round mold, a course of shaped modillions, a fascia and a large double-ogee-crown molding. Both gables form pediments and have a pair of windows at attic level and a bulls-eye window at the apex of the pediment. The walls beneath the pediments vary as to window fenestration, with symmetrical spacing on the west and asymmetrical arrangement on the east. The central chimneys are asymmetrical, the east chimney standing north of the ridge of the roof, the west centered on the ridge. The north facade is only three bays long and has a Palladian-style window at the level of the interior stair landing in the center of the wall. Beneath the north window is the north door and a porch with Chinese trellis balustrade. On the east side of the north facade is a small one-story kitchen wing which is reputed to replace a colonnade and detached kitchen. The floor plan consists of a central stair hall, divided by an elliptical arch, and two rooms on either side of the hall. Significance: Poplar Hill Mansion is the only early dwelling of architectural significance to have survived the devastating fires of 1860 and 1886 in Salisbury.


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