Photo credit: Paul Baker Touart , 11/1999

Property Name: Primrose Hill
Date Listed: 9/14/2000
Inventory No.: AA-169
Location: 3, Milkshake Lane, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County

Description: Primrose Hill is a 2 1/2-story, four-bay, double-pile brick house with interior end chimneys with corbeled caps, extended to the rear by a two-story common bond brick kitchen dating from the second quarter of the 19th century. Early-20th century porches are attached to the front and rear elevations. Extending to the southeast is a 1986 hyphen and single-story wing addition also of brick. The entire house is painted white. The southwest (main) elevation is a four-bay facade with the first story sheltered by the early-20th century shed-roofed porch supported by Tuscan columns, which is now enclosed. The front wall of the house is defined by a molded brick watertable, and the header bond rises to the height of the beltcourse. The header bond wall is pierced by an off-center double door entrance in the second bay from the southwest corner, and 9/9 sash windows mark the remaining bays. Jack arches span each of the window openings, and each arch is undercut with a segmental arch. The entrance is a double door opening which was reworked during the early 19th century. The split leaf doors are defined by three shallow panels to each leaf and the outside corners of each panel are distinguished by quarter round cut. The door reveals are similarly finished, and a diamond pane transom tops the double doors. Louvered shutters flank the adjacent windows. The second floor is lighted by four 9/6 sash windows flanked by louvered shutters as well. Finishing the top of the wall is a bold, plastered cove cornice. Fixed atop the metal roof are a pair of 19th century gable-roofed dormers with 6/6 windows. Windows on the northwest gable end are 9/9 on the first story, 4/4 on the second, and 6/6 in the attic, all flanked by louvered shutters. Rising in the center of the wall against the interior end chimney stack is a later furnace flue. A later bargeboard molding finishes the roof edge. The northeast (rear) wall is partially covered by a two-story, two-bay shed-roofed kitchen wing. The rest is defined by an entrance and adjacent 9/9 windows with jack arches. The rear entrance is sheltered by a single-bay porch. The top of the wall is finished with a bold cove plaster cornice. There are no dormers on this slope of the roof. The southeast gable end is partially covered by the single-story hyphen addition. Outer bays hold 9/6 windows with jack arches, and a narrow 4/4 window pierces the southeast corner of the second story. The southwest corner is defined by a bank of three 9/6 sash windows. Brick beltcourses define the second and third floor levels. A pair of 6/6 windows light the attic and flank the chimney. The rear wing is laid in common bond with a beltcourse and 6/6 windows with louvered shutters define each floor. A single flue stack rises through the end. The first floor is divided into a four-room plan with a stairhall fixed between the rear two rooms. The interior retains a large amount of 18th, 19th, and 20th century woodwork.

Significance: Primrose Hill is architecturally significant on account of its mid-18th century Georgian design and construction, and the property is historically important with its direct association to the American portraitist, John Hesselius (1728-1778), who resided in this house between c. 1763 and his death. The two-story, four-room plan brick dwelling, dating around 1760, was built on an elaborate scale in line with other gentry houses in Anne Arundel County.




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