William D. Morgan
Hagerstown Charity School
102, Washington St., E. & 105 North Ave., E., Hagerstown, Washington County
The Hagerstown Day Nursery is a two story, three bay painted brick structure dating from the second quarter of the 19th century. It is situated at the northeast corner of the intersection of East Washington and North Locust Streets in Hagerstown. The front of the building faces south onto East Washington Street. The masonry walls display Flemish bonding at the front elevation. Flat arches of brick are located above the openings. An unusual feature of the front of the house is the central bay which projects from the main façade the width of one brick. Brick parapets finish the gable walls. A three bay ell, apparently built at two times, extends to the rear. Windows at the first story are smaller than those at the second story level. Those at the lower level have 12/8 pane sashes while upper sashes have 12/12 panes. This is an unusually late use of this type of window. The central front second story window is flanked by narrow sidelights with three lights per sash. At the rear portion of the building 9/6 and 9/9 light sashes are used at the first and second floors respectively.
The significance of the Hagerstown Day Nursery Building, erected in the 1840s as the Hagerstown Charity School, derives from three sources. First, as a structure executed in a simplified Neoclassical manner, the building embodies characteristics of the type of architecture constructed in Hagerstown in the mid 19th century. Notable among these features are Federal proportions in scale, the use of symmetrical and corner block decoration on the interior, Flemish bond façade, and flat arches over the windows. The building also contains design elements not commonly found in contemporary Hagerstown buildings. These elements are the three bay symmetrical façade, use of the tripartite window and parapeted end walls, and a projecting center bay on the façade. Second, the building acquires significance as having been erected as a school for underprivileged children and was used for such purpose until about 1907. Third, additional significance is achieved from association with the social and humanitarian concerns of the group for which the building was erected and those of the present owners. The Hagerstown Charity School was founded by the Hagerstown Female Society which, in addition to being concerned with schooling underprivileged children, was also concerned with feeding and clothing them. The building continues as a child care facility as a nursery which was founded in and has occupied the structure since 1907.