University Park Historic District
University Park, Prince Georges County
The University Park Historic District is a picturesque, early-20th century, middle-class, automobile suburb within the U.S. Route 1 corridor in northwestern Prince George's County, Maryland. The district, which developed over the period 1920 to 1945, is almost exclusively residential. The primary building type is the detached single-family dwelling; the secondary building type is the freestanding garage. The only non-residential buildings within the district and the town are two churches and the Town Hall, which is located in a former residence. Prominent features of the historic district include its gently rolling landscape, a broad diagonal avenue that bisects the community from the southwest to the northeast, and as a counterpoint, the meandering course of a stream valley park runs from the northwest to the southeast. Other notable features include the property's original farmhouse, now a private residence, and the nearby family cemetery. The district is characterized by streets of evenly spaced, neatly kept houses shaded by mature trees. The houses are built in a range of popular early-20th century architectural styles including Tudor and Mediterranean Revival, and varied interpretations of the Craftsman Aesthetic and the Colonial Revival.
The University Park Historic District is significant as a large and essentially intact example of an early-20th century, middle-class automobile suburb. The historic district represents the transformation of the western edge of Prince George's County into part of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area by the development of suburban communities in Prince George's County specifically designed to accommodate the automobile. Also significant is the fact that the district was platted and developed largely by the developer. The district derives additional significance for its noteworthy collection of vernacular buildings demonstrating the evolution of early 20th century American domestic architecture. Examples of common styles of the period found in the historic district include the Mediterranean and Tudor Revivals, variations on the Craftsman Aesthetic, and numerous examples of the Colonial Revival including interpretations of Dutch, Georgian, and Federal period substyles.