Natalie W. Shivers
Hidden Valley Farm
2916, Green Road, Fallston, Harford County
Hidden Valley Farm consists of a mid-19th century vernacular Greek Revival brick farmhouse with several auxiliary structures. The house is rectangular in shape, three stories high with a gable roof, with a five-bay symmetrical façade. It has a gable-roofed two-story wing extending from the rear elevation. Square-columned one-story porches lie across the façade and both sides of the wing. Elements of Gothic, Italianate, and Chinese designs are found in the decorative detailing. Italianate brackets with pendants decorate the cornice on the house and porches, Gothic lancet windows pierce the gable ends of the main block, and Chinese trellis-work is found in the arrangement of the glazing bars in the third floor windows and the transom over a sidelighted main entranceway. The principal windows have double-hung sashes with 6/6 lights, narrow frames, and plain corner blocks terminating plain heavy lintels. On the interior the principal rooms are arranged one on each side of a central hall in the main block with a kitchen in the wing. The interior decorative detailing consists primarily of wide architrave molding, a turned balustrade with a polygonal newel, and marble and wooden mantels. The house has a high degree of integrity. The property is enhanced historically with a mid-19th century barn, summer kitchen, and smokehouse, and later wood shed and garage. The auxiliary buildings are of varying degrees of integrity.
Hidden Valley Farm is significant for its architecture. The house is highly unusual among 19th century vernacular dwellings in rural Maryland in the way elements derived from the picturesque fashion which was current at the time of its construction are incorporated into an otherwise conservative, traditional design. The house displays the symmetrical façade and center-hall, L-shaped plan which typify rural vernacular dwellings in Maryland in the 19th century. Its primarily stylistic influence is the Greek Revival, evident in the entrance with transom and sidelights, lintels with plain corner blocks, attic story, and interior detailing. The essentially traditional and conservative composition is transformed by the addition of picturesque elements, including Gothic-arched gable windows, Chinese trellis tracery in the transom and attic windows, and a wide cornice with jigsawn brackets having turned trop finials. The house retains a high degree of integrity.