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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: John McGrain, 02/1981
Hill House
Inventory No.: BA-1152
Other Name(s): Cool Spring
Date Listed: 3/6/1986
Location: 19301 York Road (MD 45), Parkton, Baltimore County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: c. 1879
Description: Hill House is a large brick mansard-roofed dwelling constructed c. 1879 near the village of Parkton in northern Baltimore County. The house faces west on a rise overlooking the former Baltimore and York Town turnpike; it stands 2 ½ stories high, five bays wide by four bays deep, with a two-story, two-bay kitchen wing extending from the rear. The central entrance features a four-paneled door flanked by round-arched sidelights and surmounted by a rectangular transom. A flat-roofed porch spans the three central bays of the façade, with chamfered posts, scrolled brackets, and a bracketed cornice. Windows throughout the house are tall 4/4 sash with prominent white-painted wooden lintels; the first-floor windows are of floor-to-ceiling height. An unusual rectangular "conservatory" bay juts out at an angle from the southwest corner; a three-sided bay covers the eastern half of the south elevation. The building cornice is treated with a broad architrave and a deep overhang with scrolled brackets decorated with turned pendants; the porch and both bays have matching cornices. The mansard is clad in blue and red slate laid in a geometric pattern; three round-headed dormers with 2/2 sash light the west façade (the central dormer holds a double window). Two similar dormers appear on the north and south elevations, and three on the east, all with single 2/2 sash. The gable-roofed kitchen wing is centered on the east side; it has a one-story shed-roofed open porch across its south elevation, and an enclosed two-tier gallery on the north. The interior of Hill House is organized in a center-hall plan. Broad arched openings give access to the north and south parlors; the south parlor retains its set of paneled bi-folded double doors. At the east end of the entrance hall, the stair rises in four curving flights to the attic; it features an octagonal oak newel, two turned balusters per tread, and scrolled step ends. The north parlor has an elaborate marble mantel; a simpler mantel appears in the (southeast) dining room. The four fireplaces on the second floor are trimmed with plain wooden surrounds; the attic was unheated. Paneled doors, baseboard, and architrave trim survives throughout the house. A frame shed is located behind the house. Significance: Hill House is significant for its architecture. It presents a rural interpretation of the Second Empire style, embodying the distinctive characteristics of this style including the mansard roof clad in polychrome slate, bracketed cornice, square proportions, and symmetrical fenestration with floor-to-ceiling windows on the first floor. The building survives in an excellent state of preservation, with the vast majority of its interior and exterior decorative detailing intact. Constructed about 1879 for a local physician, Hill House is associated with the early "suburbanization" of northern Baltimore County made possible by the extension of commuter rail service from Baltimore City.


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