Orlando Ridout V
208, South Liberty Street, Centreville, Queen Annes County
The Keating House is located on the west side of South Liberty Street in Centreville, near the intersection with Church Alley. The house was constructed in several stages, beginning with a large, Federal side passage dwelling constructed c. 1806-1809 by Ebenezer Covington. This early house is of brick construction, 2 1/2 stories high, three bays wide, and one room deep with paired flush chimneys on the south end of the steeply pitched gable roof. Later in the 19th century, the house was enlarged first by the construction of a two-story brick wing projecting from the south gable wall and later by a two-story frame wing to the rear. The front facade of the main house faces east, with the door in the north bay on the first floor with two windows to the left and three 6/6 windows on the second floor. The first floor windows probably originally held 9/6 sash, but have been enlarged and are now fitted with 1/1 sash. The door has an arched, semicircular transom above a reeded frame. The jambs and soffit are paneled, and the six-panel door remains in place. The plain architrave trim with a simple keystone presumably replaces a more elaborate Federal surround. The brickwork on the front facade is laid in Flemish bond above a three-course bond foundation with no watertable. The eaves are finished with a box cornice with a deep soffitt and a small bed mold applied against a wide frieze board. The cornice returns at the corners and is carried up the gable eaves. A one-story open porch with square chamfered posts, constructed c. 1909, is carried across the front facade of the house and around the south gable. The south end, adjacent to the south gable and the wing, was later enclosed to serve as a law office.
The Keating House is significant for its architectural merit. Constructed c. 1806-1809 by Ebenezer Covington, the house is one of several large brick Federal townhouses constructed in Centreville in the first decade of the 19th century. The Keating House stands out among its contemporaries in Centreville by virtue of its outstanding degree of integrity; it has undergone relatively few alterations, and those changes that have been made are non-intrusive in nature. The overall plan and form of the Keating House is typical of the Federal period and was quite popular in the county. The high quality of the interior finish of this particular house marks this as one of the finer houses in the area, however. Particular features of interest include the handsome Federal stair, several Federal mantels, and original interior trim throughout much of the house. Also of note is the preservation of the original partitioning of the third floor. Such light, board and plaster walls rarely survive, and these are an important example of this construction method.