Michael F. Dwyer
John H. Traband House
14204, Old Marlboro Pike (MD 725), Upper Marlboro, Prince Georges County
Built between 1895 and 1897, the John H. Traband House is an asymmetrically shaped Queen Anne influenced frame structure of modest size and detailing, 2 1/2 stories high with an asbestos shingled hip roof with a central chimney. The roof lopes to three gables on the south, east, and west. The house has projecting two-story bays on the south and east elevations, and a two-story porch with turned columns and balusters on the facade or south elevation. Set back some distance from the street, the house has German siding, fishscale shingles in the gables, and two courses of shingles under the eaves form a decorative cornice around the rest of the house. The projecting bays polygonal on the first floor and rectangular on the second, with sawnwork brackets in the cutaway corners. The front facade is three bays wide, with an entrance in the central bay. The center and west bays are covered by a two-story recessed porch, now glassed in. All windows are 1/1 sash with louvered shutters. A one-story shed-roofed frame addition was constructed in 1974 along the back or north elevation. The interior of the house has an asymmetrical floor plan with period corner-blocked symmetrical trim and an oak staircase balustrade with turned balusters, square newel post, and scroll step end decoration. Also located on the property are a frame two-story gable-roofed carriage house and the site of an ice pit, both contemporary to the house. The carriage house, which originally stood over the ice pit, was moved to the back of the property in the mid 20th century for construction of the driveway.
The John H. Traband House is significant historically and architecturally in Upper Marlboro. The house was constructed as the residence of a prominent citizen, John H. Traband (1857-1938), who was a successful businessman and landholder in Upper Marlboro. It was designed by a builder-architect named Arthur F. Nicholson who was located in Laurel, and erected under the supervision of B. Wesley Cranford, an Upper Marlboro carpenter. As the only turn-of-the-20th-century Queen Anne style house remaining in Upper Marlboro, a town which underwent extensive alteration in the mid 20th century, and as a documentable resource as to designer, builder, and occupant, the John H. Traband House is an important resource for understanding the growth and development, and the architectural character of the town at the close of the 19th century, and in the early decades of the 20th. Traband occupied the house until his death in 1938.