MHT File Photo
1314, Upper Glencoe Road, Sparks-Glencoe, Baltimore County
Glencoe is a complex of Italianate-influenced domestic buildings and structures, clustered around a square, two-story frame dwelling, five bays wide by four bays deep, with a transomed central entrance flanked by floor-to-ceiling 6/6 sash windows. A broad porch wraps around the south (front) and west façades; an iron-railed deck atop the porch is accessed through a second-story doorway in the central bay of the south façade. The shallow hipped roof is covered with standing-seam tin; its deeply overhanging soffits feature Italianate brackets, with acorn pendants at the corners. Four interior brick chimneys rise around a central observation deck. The interior has a center-hall plan, and retains much original decorative detailing, including the stair, ceiling moldings, wide plain architraves, and carved marble mantelpieces. Gas lighting fixtures are still in place. Also on the property is a two-story, mansard-roofed stable/carriage house, seven bays wide by two bays deep; round-topped dormers interrupt the shingled mansard. The cornice is bracketed, and a cupola tops the roof. Other significant outbuildings include a smokehouse, ice house, sheep shed, garden house (probably a former chicken house), and a latticed frame gazebo with scroll-sawn bargeboards. The buildings are situated in a scenic landscape of slopes and rock outcrops; their siting reflects the picturesque esthetic of the second half of the 19th century.
Glencoe derives significance from two sources. The complex has architectural significance as an example of country residence constructed by affluent city dwellers in the mid-19th century in response to new developments in rail transportation which made rural locations conveniently accessible from the urban centers of commerce and industry. Shortly after the initial construction of Glencoe ca. 1851-1856 as a private residence, subsequent owners further capitalized on the rail link by developing the property as a summer resort. The buildings reflect the influence of the Italianate style of architecture as expressed in rural contexts in Maryland, and are situated in a scenic landscape which expresses the picturesque esthetic of the late 19th century. The complex derives additional significance from its association over the period of 108 years between 1858 and 1966, with the heirs of Peter Mowell (1806-1869), a Baltimore industrialist whose iron-smelting business prospered during the expansionary era of the national railway system. The iron balcony railings of the house may be the products of the Mowell plant.