15, Railroad Avenue (MD 14), East New Market, Dorchester County
Friendship Hall is one of the finest post-Revolutionary dwellings remaining in Dorchester County. This Georgian style brick dwelling consists of a large c. 1790 five-bay, two-story main block, a two-bay one-story hyphen, and a 1 1/2-story kitchen set at a right angle to the hyphen and main block. The entire structure is built of brick laid in common bond. There is a molded water table, belt course, and pilasters on each end of the north facade extending from the water table to the belt course. A single interior chimney stands at either gable end. Both the north and south facades have a central door, the north having 3-light sidelights and a large 3-light transom. There are segmental arches above the first-story windows. Prior to 1975, the first story windows on the north facade held 2/2 sash windows. These have now been replaced to match the 12/12 sash windows on the first story of the south facade. Second floor windows are 12/8. The cornice extends around the west gable forming a full pediment which has two oval windows lighting the attic; the beltcourse extends along this side as well, and there are two 12/12 sash windows on the first floor and two 12/8 sash on the second. The east gable is stuccoed and has two square 4-light casement windows. It appears to have been planned for a full pediment, like the west, but the lower part of the cornice is lacking beyond the cornice returns. No windows pierce the second floor of this facade, but a 12/12 sash window stands in the south bay of the first floor. The north bay is covered by the hyphen. The hyphen and kitchen have 6/6 sash windows on the first floor, and the north gable end of the kitchen holds a 6/3 window in the gable, and a flush chimney at the south gable end. An interior chimney pierces the hyphen near its juncture with the kitchen. The interior plan of the main block consists of a central hall with flanking rooms. The hyphen and kitchen have an L plan, with the north facade being on the same plane as the main portion. South of the kitchen and east of the basement entrance stands a tall frame smokehouse with board and batten siding and a steep gable roof.
This late-18th century colonial house is significant for its architecture, and for its association with the prominent Sulivane family. The house has been little altered from its 18th century appearance on either the interior or the exterior. Only five first floor window sashes and the front door are not original to the house. Research shows that Friendship Hall was built by a family that came to Maryland in 1695 and played a leading role in Dorchester County history throughout the 18th century. According to one source, Major James Sulivane, an officer in the army of James II, and two of his brothers came to America after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. These men settled in Maryland and the descendents of Major James became prominent in Maryland politics and the military.