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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Jennifer K. Cosham, 03/07/2004
Hobson's Choice
Inventory No.: HO-91
Date Listed: 9/13/1984
Location: 3145 Florence Road, Woodbine, Howard County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1830
Description: Hobson's Choice is a c. 1830, five bay, 2 1/2 story brick rectangular house with a low-pitched gable roof and a recent low 2-story frame rear wing. The brick is laid in Flemish bond on the front, and common bond on the sides, on a stone foundation. A corbeled brick cornice runs along the front and back walls. Flush end chimneys rise from each gable end. The principal windows have 6/6 lights, brick flat arches, and louvered shutters. The main entrance has an eight-panel door with a rectangular transom. The facade is symmetrical with five bays and a central doorway. The gable end walls have square four-light attic windows. The east wall is blank on the first and second floors. The west wall has one window on each floor. The new frame addition which is lower in height than the brick section, projects from the westerly section of the back. The interior plan consists of a center hall with one room on either side on both floors and fireplaces in the end wall of each room. The staircase rises along the west wall. The woodwork is Greek Revival in influence. The windows and doors are framed by symmetrical trim with flat Greek Revival ogee molding and corner blocks. The six-panel doors also have flat Greek Revival ogee trim. The balustrade has a plain round newel, rectangular balusters, a round hand rail, and cut decoration on the step ends. The mantels, with trim similar to the door and window trim, also display flat Greek ogees. Also on the property are a wooden outbuilding and the stone foundation walls of a barn. Significance: Hobson's Choice is significant for its architecture, embodying the distinctive characteristics of second quarter 19th century domestic architecture in rural central Maryland. Among these distinctive characteristics which survive intact at Hobson's Choice are a simple rectangular configuration with a center hall plan consisting of one room on both sides, a symmetrical facade, and transitional Federal/Greek Revival influenced decorative detailing. The interior woodwork with the flat Greek ogee trim is particularly typical. Although several houses of this type still stand, few have the high degree of integrity, particularly in Howard County, as found at Hobson's Choice.


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