Ronald L. Andrews
Penn Alps, Main Building
Old National Pike (Old 40), Grantsville, Garrett County
The main building at Penn Alps stands between present US 40 and old US 40, east of Grantsville. An early-19th century log house, it was enlarged to 2 1/2 stories and "modernized" in the Italianate style in the late 19th century and converted for commercial use with major renovations and additions in the 20th century. The principal (north) facade of the original building faces old Route 40. It has a symmetrical arrangement of five bays, a central door with a transom, and a wide bracketed cross gable in the roof. A one-story frame porch with a heart-pattern balustrade stretches across this side. Most of the windows of the old section have double-hung wooden sashes with 1/1 lights. The east windows of the first floor on the original front have modern double-hung wooden sashes with 6/6 lights. The interior has been greatly altered. The east room on the first floor, apparently two rooms originally, has been cleaned down to the log construction.
The main building at Penn Alps, an early 19th century log structure, was used as an inn during the 19th century. It was enlarged and "modernized" in the Italianate style in the late 19th century and converted for commercial use in the 20th century. There were once dozens of inns and taverns along the National Road and the Baltimore Pike. Today, with the greatly lessened travel along these roads, few of these remain. The eleven buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places under the "Inns on the National Road" thematic nomination, many of them still serving their original function, stand as the physical remains of the almost legendary hospitality offered on this well-traveled route to the west.