Michael O. Bourne
Main Street, Greensboro, Caroline County
The Leonard House is a small, 1 1/2-story frame dwelling with an original L plan, constructed c. 1832 presumably as the parsonage for the second Methodist church in Greensboro. Facing west, the building stands three bays wide, with a transomed entrance in the northernmost bay and two 9/6 windows to the right. There are two 6/6 gabled dormers on the west slope of the roof, above a boxed cornice. A large brick chimney rises from the ridge to the left of center, expressing a highly unusual placement and interior plan. The building rests on a brick foundation and is sheathed with beaded siding. A one-story wing extends from the southern portion of the rear elevation, flush with the south gable end, comprising an original kitchen and a late-19th century extension. The interior of the main house is laid out around the central chimney in a four-room plan, with a small entrance vestibule in the northwest corner opening into a long narrow room across the north side of the building and a larger parlor to the south. These rooms retain refined Greek Revival-influenced decorative detailing. An unusual rear passage runs across the east side of the parlor to the north room. The half-story contains two chambers, each with a small fireplace; the loft of the ell retains evidence of servants’ quarters with segregated access.
Built about 1832, the Leonard House is significant for its architectural character. It embodies several distinctive design and construction characteristics of the second quarter of the 19th century that are rare or unique in Maryland. This variation of the center-chimney plan has no known analogies elsewhere in the state. The beaded siding boards on the west and south elevations of the house and the riven clapboards on the north side of the wing (which retain traces of early red paint) are important survivals of once-common construction materials. The house also retains evidence suggestive of segregated access to servant’s quarters in the loft of the wing.