Michael F. Dwyer
7460, Landover Road, Landover, Prince Georges County
Beall's Pleasure is a 2 1/2-story brick house constructed c. 1795 with a 1 1/2-story brick wing constructed in 1936. Facing south, the house is situated on a knoll amid large maples, pines, locusts, and ash. Behind the house is a landscaped garden of large boxwoods set in four squares, with day lilies and roses prominent in the design. The garden was landscaped in 1936 by the late Boris V. Timchenko, long-time chief architect of the annual National Capital Flower and Garden Show, and designer of gardens for President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower. Beall's Pleasure is five bays wide on the front facade and three on the rear, and two rooms deep. Laid in three-course common bond, there is a double flush chimney with parapets at either gable end. The cornice is laid in three courses, the lower one of projecting headers, the center one of sawtooth pattern, and the top one of stretchers. The central doorway on the south facade contains a six-panel door and has an arched head with traceried fanlight and sidelights. Windows on the front facade are 6/6 sash, with modern louvered shutters. There are jack arches above all the original windows, including those in the basement. The roof is covered with terra cotta tiles, which replace cedar shingles. The north facade is three bays wide with a central doorway, which has a paneled surround consisting of pilasters supporting an arched pediment with Adamesque motif. The windows on this facade contain 9/6 sash, and have jack arches, except for the east window on the first floor, which has been enlarged to a pair of 9/6 sash under a single segmental arch. The west end wall has only a single opening: a 16-light casement window in the attic. The east gable end is covered by a 1 1/2-story three-bay addition that is one room deep, added in 1936. A casement window also pierces the attic gable on this end. A doorway once stood in the north bay of the first floor of this facade, but this was bricked up when the wing was added. The floor plan of the main block consists of a central stair hall with two rooms on either side. All of these rooms contain fireplaces, three of which have original mantels of Adamesque design. The fireplace wall in the library is completely paneled, including a closet, and has shouldered architrave trim around the fireplace opening, framing the space above the fireplace, and around the closet door. The woodwork in this room appears to have been added to the house later, and may date to the 1930s. The other woodwork, including chair rail and cornices in all four rooms and two round-arched cupboards in the north parlor, window glass, locks and other hardware, and random-width pine flooring, are original throughout. An elliptical arch with double keystone supported by pilasters spans the center of the hall. The hall has paneled dado and an open stairwell with two flights at the rear. The open string stair has carved step ends, very simple turned balusters, round handrail, and newel with return. In the 1936 HABS photographs of Beall's Pleasure, the windows on the front facade have 2/2 rather than the present 6/6 sash, although the rear facade had 9/6 sash as it has now. Outbuildings on the property date to the early 20th century.
Beall's Pleasure typifies the characteristics of Federal architecture as interpreted in central Maryland. Its basic form of two-story height, five-bay width on one facade and three on the other, and two-room depth has often been recorded for buildings in this area built from the late 18th through the first half of the 19th century. A doorway with elliptical fanlight and sidelights is seen on nearly every structure of this type. Evidence of a sophistication not commonly found exists in the parapets on the end walls and the garlanded Adamesque style of the mantels and cornices on the first floor.