Ronald L. Andrews
South Prospect Street Historic District
South Prospect Street, Hagerstown, Washington County
South Prospect Street is a 19th and early 20th century residential neighborhood which was once the address of many of Hagerstown's leading citizens. Located along the crest of a hill to the southwest of Public Square, the street stretches for three blocks from Washington Street south to Park Circle and is lined with more than 50 structures representing America's varied and strong architectural heritage. The domestic and ecclesiastical buildings along the tree shaded avenue express a uniformity of quality and scale which ties South Prospect Street into an important streetscape.
It is the variety of architectural styles represented and the juxtaposition of the examples to one another that gives South Prospect Street its strongest and most significant character. The styles represented range from the Neoclassical of the early 19th century to the classical revivals of the early 20th century. Other styles include Gothic, Italianate, Second Empire, and Queen Anne. Not a part of the original plan of Hagerstown, South Prospect Street is said to have been opened in 1832 by William D. Bell. The north section of the street between Washington and Antietam Streets was a part of the Mount Prospect or Rochester tract which was bounded approximately by the present Washington, Prospect, Antietam, and Walnut Streets. Bell divided the property into lots and widened a small alley into the present street. The first house erected on South Prospect Street is believed to be the southern 2/3 of the building standing at number 43, a masonry structure renovated and enlarged in the Colonial Revival style about the turn of the 20th century. Now demolished, Mount Prospect was a late 18th century house which was once the home of Nathaniel Rochester, a prominent Hagerstown citizen and banker and the person for whom Rochester, New York, was named.