Photo credit: George J. Andreve , 10/1977

Property Name: Summit
Date Listed: 7/24/1979
Inventory No.: BA-1107
Location: 10, Stanley Drive, Catonsville, Baltimore County

Description: Summit, a large brick house, once part of a country estate, might be classified as a Franco-Italianate villa. It now sits on a small lot with its architectural front facing north and its east façade facing the street. Viewed head-on, it is not overwhelming, seeming to be of domestic proportions. But from the east it is of massive proportions, with a three-story Italianate tower and large wing extending to the rear. The main façade is three stories tall and five bays wide, with the tower on the east side extending it visually. A one-story porch with square columns and railings in a scallop pattern runs across the full façade. A row of basement windows is under the porch, two to the west of the stairs and three to the east, the last in line with the tower. The windows contain large, vertical panes. The stairs, flanked by square newel posts and railings with a pattern of two concentric circles, rise before the entrance. The double doors have pilasters on either side and a large, five-light transom and sidelights of three lights over a panel. The windows on the front façade are 4/4 sash, with the second floor windows being slightly shorter than those below. The window in the central bay of the second floor, over the doorway, is a tripartite window consisting of a window like the others flanked by a narrow sash with 2/2 lights placed vertically. Above this is a row of decorative dentils in the brickwork. Most of the windows on the first and second floors have louvered shutters. The three third floor windows are set in the mansard roof, which is sheathed in slate in several alternating rows of square and hexagonal shingles. The hexagonal rows are in colors, the others gray. A row of iron roof cresting runs around the edge of the roof. The dormers contain double windows with two, 2/2 light sash. Above each pair is a steep gable roof with carved verge board decoration in the peak. The central window is set apart by strips of wood shaping a rhombus. A bracketed cornice runs just under the mansard roof. The flat porch roof has a similar cornice, but with smaller brackets above a plain frieze. The two bay by one bay tower rises two bays to the rear of the main façade. Rising slightly above the mansard roof, it terminates with a bracketed cornice and flat roof. The third floor of the tower has decorative brickwork consisting of a band above and below the windows, of different patterns, and narrow, inset panels on either side of and between the windows. The tall windows here have been bricked in at the top and replaced with shorter 1/1 sash. The other windows in the tower remain unaltered. The rear wing of the building, also three stories in height, plus the exposed basement, is four bays long with a door in the last bay. A one-story porch as been built over this door and the next window. The window sash in the wing have 6/6 lights. A pavilion one bay wide projects eastward from the rear to balance the tower.

Significance: Summit is a survivor from Catonsville's history as a summer retreat for Baltimore's very rich during the second half of the 19th century. The house was begun in the 1850s in the popular style of the Italianate villa. Two stories high at that time, Summit probably faced west. It was thought to have been incomplete in 1860, and, in any case, damaged during the Civil War. A later owner altered the house in the French Second Empire style, adding the third floor mansard roof on the house and the fourth story mansard roof on the tower (the latter now gone). These changes were probably made by James A. Gary, a well-known man in Republican politics during the last quarter of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th. The addition of the mansard was a way of altering a house to make it more stylish, something desired by and feasible for a man of Gary's position. The mansion was converted to apartments after its sale to the Summit Park Company in 1919, the year before Gary's death.




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