Cleora Barnes Thompson
9254, Old Annapolis Road, Columbia, Howard County
Woodlawn is a two-story, stuccoed stone house constructed in the mid 19th century, whose design reflects the transition between the Greek Revival and Italianate styles. The house is three bays wide by two bays deep, and has a shallow-pitched, metal-clad hip roof. The central bay of the principal (north) facade projects slightly and is capped with a shallow cross-gable; the entrance is located in this bay, and features double doors surmounted by a transom and flanked by sidelights, sheltered by a one-story, hip-roofed portico supported on chamfered posts with scrollwork brackets. French doors are found in the outlying bays of the first story. On the second story, a double 4/4 window occupies the central bay, with 6/6 sash on either side. All windows have louvered shutters and modillioned cornices which duplicate the design of the building cornice. One-story, hip-roofed porches span the east and west facades; these, like the entrance portico, have chamfered posts and modillioned cornices. Two brick central chimneys pierce the roof. A frame one-story three-bay, gable-roofed wing extends to the rear of the house. The building has a center-hall plan, and retains significant interior detail including door and window architraves with corner blocks, and a simple but well-proportioned stair typical of finer mid-19th century dwellings in rural Maryland. The first-floor rooms feature deep crown moldings, plaster ceiling medallions, and carved marble mantelpieces.
Woodlawn derives significance from its architecture, and from its association with Henry Howard Owings. Architecturally, Woodlawn is unique in Howard County in representing the transition between Greek Revival and Italianate styles. Elements of the Greek Revival are embodied in the building's square proportions, smooth stuccoed surface, and simple interior trim, while the central projecting bay and deep cornice reflect Italianate influence. As a transitional form, Woodlawn complements other Howard County resources, such as the Greek Revival Mount Ida and the Italianate villas Temora and Elmonte. Woodlawn is also significant for its association with Henry Howard Owings, a prominent Howard County landowner and farmer. The property's present appearance reflects the period of Owings' occupancy in the 1850s and 1860s, during which time he served as a judge of the Orphan's Court for Howard County. Owings died at Woodlawn in 1869.