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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Jennifer K. Cosham, 04/25/2006
Prospect Hall
Inventory No.: F-3-61
Other Name(s): Prospect School, Prospect Hill
Date Listed: 9/8/1980
Location: 889 Butterfly Lane, Frederick, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1800-15; c. 1830-60; c. 1890-1910
Description: Once a privately owned mansion, Prospect Hall has since the 1950s been a college preparatory school for boys and girls. The house has a 2 1/2-story, seven-bay brick central block with added dependencies attached at each end. Extending from the front of the house is an imposing 2 1/2-story pedimented portico supported by concrete-coated, round, brick columns with Roman Ionic capitals. The high foundations which appear to have had a molded watertable are coated with concrete. Above them, the brick walls display all header bonding at the front or south elevation and Flemish bond at the north elevation which, although it is the back of the house, is also a principal facade. The west end wall is also laid in Flemish bond. High flat arches of brick are present above the windows. A brick belt course extends along the south and north walls between the first and second stories. Both end elevations of the house have a projecting area running vertically the height of the wall. This portion of the wall juts about one foot from the principal surfaces of the end walls. Windows in the main section have 9/9 light sash, with 6/6 sash in the attic level. Half windows with new casements are located in the foundation to light the cellar. The front and rear entrances are elaborate, including a broad elliptical fanlight above the doors and flanking sidelights. While the front entrance is framed by the large portico, the rear entrance has a smaller one-bay, shed-roofed porch. Neither porch is original and both would appear to date from the turn of the 20th century. The house has inside end brick chimneys, although the chimney walls do project slightly from the end of the building. The roof is sheathed with slate, but evidence in the attic indicates that an earlier wood single roof existed at one time. The eaves trim on the house is elaborate and consists of a series of modillions on the frieze above which is a course of dentils. Decorative carvings and moldings trim the cornice. The eaves woodwork is consisted on the house, the added west wing, and the turn-of-the-20th-century portico. The c. 1900 2-story west wing has gable ends facing north and south. The front facade is all-header bond, with Flemish bond at the other elevations. Windows have 6/6 or 4/4 sash. A decorative corbeled brick arch trims the front wall above the windows. The gable shave deep molded returns. There is a 1 1/2-story brick extension on the rear of the building. The east wing was added about 1957. Significance: The significance of Prospect Hall lies in its architecture and its association with several locally and regionally prominent families. The house is atypical for its period and location of grand proportions with the all-header bond facade rarely seen in Maryland outside of Annapolis, it was an elegant, showy mansion at the time of its construction, reflecting the prominence of the families who owned it. Although altered somewhat at two later periods, the house retains many interesting original features and is a well known landmark in the Frederick area. Significant exterior features include the symmetrical proportions of the house, the use of all-header bond at the front elevation, and the rear or north elevation of Flemish bond almost of equal prominence to the front wall. The interior of the house displays a grand manner unusual among dwellings of the period in western Maryland. Most of the interior woodwork at the first floor level can be attributed to the 1800-1815 period with much of the second story being of the mid 19th century. The roof framing at Prospect Hall is unusual among dwellings of this region. It uses a king post truss system with major supporting rafters and purlins. Those few houses in western Maryland and southern Pennsylvania with purlin systems date from the 18th or very early 19th centuries, although this practice was used much later for barns.


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