Michael F. Dwyer
19001, Bucklodge Road (MD 117), Boyds, Montgomery County
Part of a working farm since its inception and created over a period of two centuries, Friends Advice is an estate dominated by a main house of local sandstone in the impressive overall image of a Georgian plantation house. It incorporates and blends a Colonial Revival-style block constructed in 1939-40, a Federal style block of the first quarter of the 19th century, an a frame block constructed in 1882 on the foundation of an 18th century log structure. The earliest portion, the c. 1806 Federal style block, sits on a stone foundation with a gable roof and gabled dormers. The exterior stone has been scored to hold a stucco like finish compatible with a later section. Most of this stucco has been removed. Windows in this block are 6/6 sash with sandstone lintels. A shallow open porch on the north elevation has a shed roof and square posts. The south (formerly main) doorway from the exterior has been altered, and the deep inset now holds a glass and wood paneled door surmounted by an 8-light transom. The 1882 section on the east side is built of frame, on the original fieldstone foundation of a late-18th century log house to which the original family owner came in 1792. It is composed of two sections. To the west is a three by two bay, 2 1/2-story gable-roofed frame block. On the south facade there is a central door with stone stoop. One of the 6/6 sash windows was converted to a bay window in the 1960s. On the west, there is an interior brick chimney at the juncture with the middle stone block. On the north facade, all windows are 6/6. The two frame sections of the east block are divided on the south facade by an exterior brick chimney. The east section is two by two bays on a cinderblock foundation. The gable roof of this section slopes dramatically to the south, making the block two stories on that side. The entire east block is now sheathed in aluminum siding. The 1939-40 block is of sandstone, and faces west. The entrance facade is five bays wide, with a one-story pedimented Doric portico sheltering the entrance door with a raised 8-panel door flanked by Doric pilasters, each of which is flanked by leaded glass, traceried sidelights. The doorway is surmounted by an elliptical arched fanlight. Three clapboard covered gable roofed dormers an a cornice ornament the west side of the gable roof. The south elevation is two bays wide and the north three bays, each side with an interior chimney.
From the first quarter of the 20th century to about the start of World War II, Montgomery County experienced a phase of country estate development. Mostly located along the main arteries leading into the city, these properties were generally grand in scale, with buildings of historicized design basis, and architect designed. Often, they incorporated existing buildings and landscape features, as is the case here, to create a romantic and bucolic stage set in which to live. Some were developed as weekend retreats, but many, with Friends Advice as an excellent example, were developed as permanent residences. This phase of Montgomery County history represents a significant change in the county's history; from a rural agricultural county bordering the city, to a suburbanized affluent county responding to the rapid growth of Washington in population and importance. Washington was becoming a center of influence and expanding government, and with that came new office workers and wealthy people drawn to power. With its present appearance created in 1939-40, Friends Advice represents the last phase of country estate development in the county. In this phase, architectural precedents generally came from American vernacular origins, particularly rural Pennsylvania and Virginia, though often mixed with high style Georgian and Federal elements and usually with a smaller scale than the earlier phases. Friends Advice is believed to be the last example developed. Significance is also derived from association with General Albert C. Wedemeyer (1897-1989), a person significant in American military history. General Wedemeyer is the architect of the plan used by the Allied forces during World War II to defeat the German forces. General Wedemeyer and his wife, whose family owned this property since the 18th century, used Friends Advice as their permanent home throughout his military career and after his retirement in 1951 until his death in 1989.