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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Jennifer K. Cosham, 04/25/2006
Victor Cullen School Power House
Inventory No.: F-6-21A
Date Listed: 1/7/1987
Location: 5970 Cullen Drive , Sabillasville, Frederick County
Category: Building
Period/Date of Construction: 1908
Architect/Builder: Architects: Wyatt and Nolting, Baltimore
Description: The Victor Cullen School Power House is a 1908 Renaissance Revival stone structure, 2 1/2 stories high with a hip roof and a fully exposed basement on the west side. Constructed of rubble local stone, the structure is five bays long and two bays wide with a one-story one-bay-wide wing on the north end and a one-story shallow wing at basement level on the south end. The wings appear to date later than 1908 but match in character and materials. The first floor openings are semicircular headed. The windows on this floor have wooden casements. The second floor windows have double-hung wooden sashes with 3/1 lights. A masonry belt course runs along the base of the second floor windows. A hipped roof ventilator projects from the east side. A stone chimney projects from the west side. The exposed basement elevation (west) has large door openings and rectangular window openings with masonry lintels. On the interior, the spaces are arranged as a series of large rooms connected by wide doorways on the first floor and smaller residential and office type rooms on the second floor. Most rooms are plastered and have simple flat, plain trim around the openings. The north wing has horizontal wood siding on three sides with stone on the north end of the main block. Significance: The design of the Power Building shows some signs of the Renaissance Revival. It is a pleasing design for a functional building and worthy of the importance and pride of having coal heat and light in northwestern Frederick County at the turn of the century. The significance of the Power House at the Victor Cullen School is derived from association with the Maryland Tuberculosis Sanatorium, the first state supported institution of its type in Maryland. In response to a marked increase in the number of cases of tuberculosis in the state and the absence of private medical facilities for treatment, the Maryland General Assembly approved funds for the construction and maintenance of a sanatorium in April 5, 1906. An approbation of $50,000 for each year, 1907 and 1908, for land purchased and building construction and a $15,000 annual support beginning in 1907 was to be paid to a Board of Managers for the new sanatorium. Based on designs drawn by the Baltimore architectural firm of Wyatt and Nolting, development of the complex began in 1907. The first structure was the Administration Building followed by the Power House in 1908 and various other buildings in succeeding years. Today only the Administration Building and Power House remain from the period when the institution functioned as the tuberculosis sanatorium before conversion to the Victor Cullen School. Unfortunately these buildings are separated by expanses of non-contributing new structures. Although the setting of the institution and a significant number of the historic elements have been destroyed over time, the Maryland Tuberculosis Sanatorium is an important milestone historically in the state's efforts to maintain the general welfare of its population. Four similar institutions were built by the state, but not until the 1920s using the Frederick County institution as the basis for designing the state's continued involvement in the health of the citizens.


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