MHT File Photo
Oakland Historic District
Oakland, Garrett County
The Oakland Historic District is an L-shaped area in the central and older section of Oakland which contains 206 buildings of various types, periods, materials, designs, and uses that reflect the evolution of this rural county seat from the mid 19th to the mid 20th centuries. The district is located on a hill that rises to the north and east of the Little Youghiogheny River with the Garrett County Courthouse, a 1907-1908 Renaissance Revival brick structure, situated overlooking the central portion. The buildings are primarily residential and positioned with deep setbacks from the street and surrounded by large lawns. The most prestigious houses stand along Second Street above Center Street. The commercial area, where the buildings abut the property lines, stretches along Second Street south of Green Street and along Alder Street between Second and Third Streets. Several churches and schools and a library are scattered in the district. The earliest houses and the more modest residential structures are of frame construction, the public buildings and churches of brick or stone, and the commercial buildings of brick, frame, or stone.
The Oakland Historic District is significant historically for its role as the seat of Garrett County, the westernmost county in Maryland. and as the center of a mountain resort area which was popular from the 1870s to the early decades of the 1900s through promotion by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. As the seat of Garrett County since the county was formed in 1872, Oakland was the administrative, economic, commercial, educational, and cultural center of this county well into the mid 20th century. These historic roles are represented by a wealth of commercial, residential, public, and religious buildings in a variety of period styles and types which give the district architectural significance. Although the large wooden hotels that once dominated Oakland are gone and many new structures stand in the commercial area, the district has a high sense of historical integrity and continuity.