Orlando Ridout V
103, West Montgomery Avenue (MD 28), Rockville, Montgomery County
The Beall-Dawson House is an 1815 2 1/2-story Federal house, three bays wide by two deep, constructed of Flemish bond brick on the front facade and common bond elsewhere. Flush chimneys stand at each gable end. The gable walls rise higher than the roof, making a roof curtain with squared brick corbels at the north and south. Facing south, the front of the house consists of a door with a three-light transom in the east bay of the first floor, and 12/12 sash windows with paneled shutters in the center and west bays. The three windows above are 12/8 sash, formerly with louvered shutters. All openings have splayed jack arches. A three-string brick cornice with the middle row of bricks laid in a diagonal decorates the roofline. The rear facade is similar, with a large stair hall window between the floors. The east gable end holds a lunette window in the attic gable, and two windows on either floor beneath, of the same size as those on the north and south facades. The south window on this facade appears to have once held a doorway. To the west gable end is attached a shorter 2-story brick wing of common bond, three bays wide and set back from the main block, with a flush chimney at its west gable end. The east bay of the south facade of this wing contains an entrance door with sidelights set within a recessed brick arch. Above the door are a pair of 9/6 sash windows. The two bays to the west hold 9/6 sash windows on both floors. The north facade of this wing holds two windows. A small one-story frame wing is attached to the west end of this wing, giving the house a telescope look. The interior of the main block has an entrance hall along the east wall. A large arch with radial pilasters of rope molding and small acanthus leaf molding defines the hall. Rising from the north end is a delicate staircase. Fan and medallion-style carving define the chair rail throughout the main section; the plaster acanthus leaf cornice of the hall is repeated only in the parlor. An Adam mantel has fluted Ionic colonettes, swags, pineapples, medallions, dolphins, and acanthus leaves. Marble surrounds the fireplace. The doors have six panels and applied molding. The window and door jambs and the area beneath the recessed windows are paneled. Outbuildings on the property include an original brick dairy house and a mid-19th century one-room Gothic Revival frame doctor's office which was moved to the site for use as a museum.
The Beall-Dawson House is the extant architectural reminder of the heritage of the early history of Rockville as a town. The village has experienced extensive growth, urbanization, and density since World War II which resulted in a disregard for the early history of Rockville as an architectural community. The house is one of only a few structures still standing significant to the heritage of the area. The house serves the community as the headquarters of the Montgomery County Historical Society which maintains a library and exhibit in the building.