Michael F. Dwyer
12806, Woodmore Road, Woodmore, Prince Georges County
Pleasant Prospect is a large 2 1/2-story Flemish bond brick house with massive flush chimneys at either gable end, and a large central pediment with a tripartite window on the front facade. The principal entrance, in the center bay of the east facade, consists of a double door surmounted by a fanlight and flanked by pilasters. A similar door on the west facade is covered by a two-story one-bay addition. The first floor of the east facade is sheltered by a shallow-roofed porch with deep stick brackets. The ghost of a similar porch covering the first floor of the west facade is visible against the brick. The main block is surrounded by a double-curved water table. Windows throughout have splayed jack arches of rubbed brick, and louvered shutters. Those on the first floor are 9/6 sash, while the second floor holds 6/6 sash windows. Both east and west facades of the building have a dentil cornice. The west roof slope is pierced by two 6/6 sash gable-roofed dormer windows. The gable ends of the building are pierced by 6/6 sash windows on the second floor and attic. Attached to the first floor of the south end of the building is a one-story Flemish-bond hyphen, three bays wide with a central door an 6/6 sash windows on the west facade, and three 6/6 sash windows on the east. This hyphen connects the main block to a 2-story hip-roofed wing of 5-course common bond brick. The interior of the house utilizes a floor plan with two rooms on each side of a central hallway dominated by a staircase of unusual height and depth. This staircase was added by the Walker family in the third quarter of the 19th century, and replaced an original enclosed stairway which was in the northwest corner room of the first floor. The interior plasterwork decorations demonstrate a strong Adam influence, featuring elaborate swags, urns, and other Adamesque motifs. The plaster ceiling moldings are handsomely designed with different patterns utilized in each room. The walls are paneled to the chair rails, and plastered above. The mantels are equally elaborate. The floors in the house are original, except where the opening of the original staircase has been closed on the second floor. The west elevation was originally graced by a sunken garden, evidence of which remains. The grounds to the north of the house are planted in boxwood. Originally there was a circular drive to the east of the house, but this has now become overgrown. The gateposts and gateway still remain. To the west of the house is a complex of agricultural buildings, including a smoke house and corn crib, both of frame construction, and a large brick stable.
Despite late-19th century alterations, Pleasant Prospect still displays the distinctive characteristics of an elegant brick house of the late 18th century, including a double-curved brick water table, rubbed brick arches, and elaborate interior plasterwork. A home of the Duckett, Contee, and Walker families in the Mitchelville area, Pleasant Prospect was one of three homes originally built by members of the Duckett family in this vicinity. Originally built by Isaac Duckett in 1798, it was also the home of Captain John Contee, the commander of the "Planter's Guard," a local cavalry company which was presented the handsome banner in a ceremony at Upper Marlboro on April 19, 1861. Members of the Walker family owned the property from 1868 until the 1970s.