Kenneth M. Short
Robert and Phyllis Scott House
1805, Uniontown Road, Westminster, Carroll County
The Robert & Phyllis Scott House is situated atop a ridge on a heavily wooded lot. The house is a two-story, five-bay by two-bay rectangular International Style building set on piers, with several rooms on grade in the center of the house. The house has an unusual V-shaped roof with the channel running in an east-west direction. The piers are constructed of dimensional two-by-fours sandwiched between dimensional two-by-sixes, all lag-bolted together. Running north-south between the piers are beams of dimensional two-by-sevens sandwiched between dimensional two-by-nines all bolted together. On the north elevation, the first story east bay is open, with a rubble stone wall at the west end that is recessed back from both the north and south walls and supports one of the beams. The east-center bay is recessed about two feet and has 11 one-light sash that alternate between fixed windows and casement windows. The sash are divided by vertical mullions and have flat panels below them. The center bay is also recessed and has 12 one-light fixed sash that have the same mullions but are full height, from floor to ceiling. The west-center and west bays are completely open, with a rubble stone pier dividing them beneath the beam. This pier is recessed on both the north and south sides. The second story east and east-center bays both have flush vertical tongue-and-groove board siding and three one-light frieze windows under the soffit that fill the whole width of each bay. The center bay has the same three frieze windows, with two large window walls below. The west half of this glass wall is a sliding glass door. The west-center and west bays are identical to the east-center and east bays. There is a deep overhanging eave on paired two-by-fours with tongue-and-groove board soffit. The east and west elevations are characterized by the V-shape of the roof. There is a rubble stone chimney in the center, set back over the stone pier, with a rubble-stone top. Most of the house is open on the first story, and the second-story all around has large window walls. On the interior, a circular hanging stair with walnut treads provides access from the entry level to the main level. There are balusters on the outer curve of the stairway only, with one vertical rectangular steel baluster on each step. One curving steel "T" stringer supports the stairs, with one cantilevered support for each tread. Beneath the stairs are loosely stacked stones. On the entrance level, the floor of the foyer has flagstones set in gravel, and the northeast room also has flagstone paving. The main level has random-width walnut flooring throughout, and an open, linear plan. The roof is supported by exposed wood trusses between each bay. The ceiling of the center three bays has a glazed monitor in the center that is gabled, and on the north and south sides of the monitor the soffit has V-groove tongue-and-grooved boards that follow the pitch of the roof. On the north and south sides of the monitor is a trough with a watering system for holding plants. The center of the monitor raises up to allow air to flow through. The rubble-stone walls of the two main support piers (one bay in from either end) are exposed on all sides on both floors. Rooms on both floors feature guilt-in cabinets, benches, and other furniture.
The Robert and Phyllis Scott House is architecturally significant as an outstanding example of Modernist residential architecture in Carroll County. Constructed in 1953-54 to the design of architect Henry Hebbeln of New York, it was the first Modernist expression in Carroll County, a largely rural area characterized by conservative, traditional domestic architectural forms. The original owners, Robert and Phyllis Scott, were social activists whose progressive architectural choice was consistent with their desire to create a better world and a better way of living in it.