Ronald L. Andrews
Frederick Historic District
Frederick, Frederick County
Located in the Piedmont region of Maryland, the Frederick Historic District encompasses the core of the city and contains a variety of resources including residential, commercial, ecclesiastical, and industrial buildings dating from the late 18th century to 1941. The majority of the buildings in the district function as residences and are independent but adjacent buildings. Characterized by vernacular forms, these dwellings rise two to three stories, measure two to three bays wide, usually limit their ornamentation to the facades, and illustrate popular stylistic influences from the Federal period of the early 19th century to 1941. Larger detached dwellings in the Queen Anne and American Foursquare styles of the late 19th and early 20th centuries are located south, north, and west of the 1973 National Register district. The commercial corridor lining Patrick and Market Streets reflects similar diversity in its streetscape. Though early-19th century buildings exist on the commercial corridor, the bulk of the buildings date from 1875-1941 and are characterized by heights of three to four stories, brick or frame storefronts, flat or shed roofs, and vernacular brick forms. Many ecclesiastical buildings display high style architecture ranging from Gothic and Greek Revival to Richardsonian Romanesque to Colonial Revival. Construction of these buildings primarily occurred in two phases: prior to the Civil War and after 1900. In contrast, the industrial buildings are vernacular in style, date from the 1880s to 1941, and are located on the east side of the district. The district retains a high level of integrity, with few intrusions; alterations are generally reversible, and generally limited to artificial siding and minor storefront renovations. Of the 2635 total resources located within the district, 2435 or 92% contribute to the significance of the historic district.
The Frederick Historic District is significant for its role as the seat of Frederick County and as a regional market and industrial center in Maryland's Piedmont area from the 18th century to the mid 20th century. Represented by a wealth of commercial, residential, public and civic, and religious architecture in a variety of styles and forms, the district is also architecturally significant. Found here are important examples of most of the major architectural styles that characterize the middle Atlantic region. these styles range from Federal and Greek Revival, through Italianate, Romanesque, and Queen Anne, to the Colonial and Spanish Revivals of the first half of the 20th century. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate armies passed through this city on their way to Antietam in 1862; and parts of the Union army went north through here on the way to Gettysburg in 1863. Confederate Gen. Jubal Early extorted a $200,000 ransom from the city before fighting near the Monocacy River just south. Large numbers of wounded soldiers were brought to the city following the large battles fought nearby.