Photo credit: Edward Nilges , 06/2002

Property Name: James K. P. Wolfe House
Date Listed: 12/27/2002
Inventory No.: F-3-200
Location: 1201, Motter Avenue, Frederick, Frederick County

Description: The James K. P. Wolfe House is a two-story, frame, Victorian period farmhouse with Gothic Revival-style detailing and a modified T-shaped plan. Facing east onto Motter Avenue, the house is three bays wide with a central cross gable featuring a pointed-arched four-light window. The first floor, shelterd by a shed-roofed porch with turned posts, a balustrade, sawnwork brackets, and a dentil cornice, the central entrance has a transom and sidelights, flanked by 2/2 sash windows. The second floor center bay is filled with a pair of narrow 1/1 sash windows. The south bay holds a 2/2 window, and the north window has been replaced by one of 1/1 sash. Most windows on the house have louvered shutters. The north facade has a window in each of the east bays, and a small four-light window in the east side of the attic level. The south facade is two bays wide, with 2/2 sash windows on both floors. A rear wing extends west from the center of the west facade. Two bays long, this wing has a partially enclosed two-story porch on its south facade, and an enclosed one-story porch on its north. A one-story shed-roofed addition stands to the west of the rear wing. Interior chimneys stand at both gable ends of the main block and at the west end of the wing. The exterior is finished with German lap siding. The roof is standing seam metal, the foundation consists of parged concrete over stone, and the chimneys are constructed of brick. The dwelling's modest interior is characterized by hardwood floors and decorative molding around windows and doors. The house, which is sited on a hill, sits behind a five-foot tall retaining wall. A shed was constructed directly behind the dwelling. A lawn is found to the west, east, and south of the residence.

Significance: The James K. P. Wolfe House is significant for its ability to represent farmhouse construction characteristic of Frederick County. The house is a late-19th century example of the Maryland Piedmont farmhouse characterized by its single pile, center hall plan with integrated rear wing and second-story porch. The design is enlivened by mass-produced ornamentation that reflects the popular architectural aesthetic of the period. Originally located in the county, on the outskirts of Frederick City's limits, the property at first comprised 18 acres. The Wolfe family built the dwelling in 1889 and owned the property until 1936. Portions of the original farm were sold in 1946 for the purpose of creating the Spring Valley residential subdivision. The majority of nearby houses date from the late 1940s and early 1950s. the James K. P. Wolfe dwelling is one of the few freestanding single-family Victorian era farmhouses located on Motter Avenue. It is a rare surviving example of a vernacular Gothic Revival style farmhouse in this part of the City of Frederick.




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