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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: MHT File Photo, 05/1976
Perry Hall
Inventory No.: BA-264
Date Listed: 4/23/1980
Location: 3930 Perry Hall Road, Perry Hall, Baltimore County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1773, 1826
Description: Perry Hall, now located in the center of a subdivision, lies one mile north east of US Route 1 north of the town of Perry Hall. In its present form it is a three-bay, two-story with dormers brick house with a two-story, three-bay wing. This structure is the surviving part of a large house begun in 1773 by Corbin Lee. The main block of the house is superbly symmetrical, with a central door flanked by two pairs of windows, five windows on the second story, and three pedimented dormers above. An early painting shows a simple stringcourse and quietly dignified detail. Portions of the original exterior brick wall, laid in Flemish bond, are visible from the attic of the raised wing. The main outside walls still remaining measure 12" to 18" thick with footings deeper than five feet. The roof was originally red tile. The house originally had a three-bay, one-story wing at each end. The house originally had a center hall plan with two rooms on either side. There were doors at either end of the hall, and the stairs were located in one of the rooms. This transverse hall uncluttered by stairs was a popular plan after 1760. The one-story four-columned entrance portico was added later. A fire c.1824 destroyed the east wing and part of the main house. The house was rebuilt but only little over half the main section and the west wing were salvaged. The house now terminates with the original central great hall. Some additional rooms were supplied by the construction of a second story on the surviving west wing. The Palladian window is now gone from this wing as are some of the fanlights over the doors of the ballroom. The fanlights and some of the porch pillars are believed to have been vandalized in the 1930s when the house was unoccupied. The one remaining fanlight is now placed over the main door. The main block of the present house consists of the central hall and two west rooms of the original house. It is a stuccoed brick structure on a raised basement. The south façade has the main entrance in the east bay with a three-part window above it. There are two 12/12 sash windows in the other two bays of each floor. There are pedimented dormers above the east and west bays. The entrance has double doors with a fanlight flanked by two narrow 6/4 sash windows. The east end has three windows in both the second story and the attic and two French doors on the first floor. The latter open onto a wide pillared veranda that extends from the front entrance around the east end and across the entire north façade. The chimney at the roof peak at this end is a false one installed to balance the original chimney at the other end. The north façade has an entrance in the east bay with a simple three-part window above and a 12/12 sash window in the two other bays on each floor. There is a pedimented dormer above both the east and west bays. The west end has an interior end chimney and a window on either side of the flue at attic level. The rear of this façade is covered by the wing. Significance: Perry Hall is a massive remnant of a remarkably large house begun in 1773 and damaged by fire circa 1824. The original house was a show place in its time, and the surviving two-thirds is representative of the scale and quality of the original and retains much original woodwork. The exterior reflects the taste of the 1820s, when the house was repaired after the fire. The appearance of the original house is preserved in three large paintings made about 1803 by Francis Guy. The present house was recorded in the 1930s by the WPA Historic American Buildings Survey; these photographs demonstrate that the character of the house has not been changed by subsequent restoration work. Harry Dorsey Gough, first occupant of the house, was a well-known figure in Baltimore County. Prominent because of his great wealth, he also played an important role in the early history of Methodism in the state. He built the wings on the house, one of which contained a chapel. He also had finish work done on the house, including interior plaster decoration, some of which survives. Harry Dorsey Gough Carroll and his wife were the next owners of the house. It was under their ownership that the fire occurred, and the repairs and new appearance made at that time were their work. Carroll named the property Perry Hall.


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