69-23-28 Walter Elsie Smith House Inventory Form

Maryland Historical Trust
Maryland Inventory of
Historic Properties Form
1. Name of Property
Inventory No. 69-023-28
(indicate preferred name)
historic
Walter and Elsie Smith House (preferred)
other
7575 Ardwick Ardmore Road
2. Location
street and number
4105 Elsie Court
not for publication
city, town
Hyattsville
vicinity
county
Prince George’s
3. Owner of Property
name
4105 Elsie Court
street and number
Hyattsville
city, town
Prince George’s
(give names and mailing addresses of all owners)
telephone
MD
state
zip code
20784
4. Location of Legal Description
courthouse, registry of deeds, etc. Prince George’s County Courthouse
Upper Marlboro
city, town
tax map 051E2
liber
11503 folio 237
tax parcel
tax ID number
3070729
5. Primary Location of Additional Data
x
Contributing Resource in National Register District
Contributing Resource in Local Historic District
Determined Eligible for the National Register/Maryland Register
Determined Ineligible for the National Register/Maryland Register
Recorded by HABS/HAER
Historic Structure Report or Research Report at MHT
Other: MNCPPC 1996, African-American Heritage Survey
6. Classification
Category
x
district
building(s)
structure
site
object
Ownership
x
Current Function
public
private
both
x
agriculture
commerce/trade
defense
domestic
education
funerary
government
health care
industry
Resource Count
landscape
recreation/culture
religion
social
transportation
work in progress
unknown
vacant/not in use
other:
Contributing
1
Noncontributing
1
buildings
sites
structures
objects
Total
Number of Contributing Resources
previously listed in the Inventory
7. Description
Inventory No. 69-023-28
Condition
x
excellent
good
fair
deteriorated
ruins
altered
Prepare both a one paragraph summary and a comprehensive description of the resource and its various elements as it
exists today.
SUMMARY
The Walter and Elsie Smith House is located in the community of Ardwick on the east side of Elsie Court facing west. Elsie Court is
a small subdivision to the south off of Ardwick Ardmore Road. The Walter and Elsie Smith property currently occupies .2323 arces
of the original 2.5 arces associated with that parcel. Prior to the 1997 subdivision the original façade fronted to the north on Ardwick
Ardmore Road and the dwelling had a substantial setback of approximately 100 feet, similar to the adjacent Thomas Hunster House
(HS 69-023-27). Today, a modern house sits to the north of the Walter and Elsie Smith House and fronts on Ardwick Ardmore; the
Smith House’s main entrance is on the west elevation. The original dwelling is a two-and-a-half story, wood-frame house with a sidegable roof and square-plan. There is a one-story, wrap-around porch along the north façade and west elevation, a rear, two-story,
front-gable projection, a rear, one-story, front-gable addition, and a rear, east, one-story, shed-roof addition that slightly alters the
original square-plan of the main house block. A concrete drivway is located on the northwest side of the house. The property has no
sidewalk but a high curb along Elsie Court. A slate walkway leads to the west elevation entrance but does not extend to Elsie Court.
The yard has extensive foliage and landscaping; foundation plantings are tall and dense and there are many mature trees and saplings
on the parcel.
DESCRIPTION
The Walter and Elsie Smith House is a vernacular revival style dwelling that lacks any distinguishing ornamentation. The original
dwelling is a two-and-a-half story, 3 x 2 bay, wood-frame house with a side-gable roof and square-plan. There is a one-story, wraparound porch along the north façade and west elevation, a rear, two-story, front-gable projection, a rear, one-story, front-gable
addition, and a rear, east, one-story, shed-roof addition that slightly alters the original square-plan of the main house block. The sidegable roof is of steep pitch clad with ashpalt shingles. The roof has slightly overhanging eaves and a wide wood cornice that is
original. Two oversized front-gable dormers are on the north façade and one, oversized, front-gable dormer is on the south façade’s
southwest bay. The dormers are clad in a secondary sheathing of asbestos siding and have single, replacement, six-over-six, doublehung vinyl sash windows. There is a single, six-over-six, double-hung vinyl sash replacement window in each gable end’s peak.
There is a single, interior, stretcher bond chimney with a corbelled cap located on the roof’s ridge. The dwelling is of wood-frame
construction with a raised, brick foundation. The exterior is clad in a secondary sheathing of aesbestos siding and has symmetrical
fensetration.
The original façade has the original entrance door in the northeast bay. The door is original wood with glazing and a one-light
transom. Windows on the first story are single, two-over-two, double-hung wood sash. Windows on the second-story are paired, sixover-six, double-hung vinyl sash replacement. All windows have wood surrounds while windows on the original, north façade and
west elevation have wood-louvered shutters. The west elevation, now the main entrance, has a first-story window that is single, twoover-two-over-two, triple-hung wood sash. The west elevation’s second-story as one paired, six-over-six, double-hung sash
replacement window and one single, six-over-six, double-hung sash replacement window. The current main entrance on the west
elevation has a modern vinyl, glazed, 15-pane door with a one-light transom.
There is a one-story, wrap-around porch along the north façade and west elevation that has a hip-roof clad in asphalt shingles. The
roof has overhanging eaves and a wide wood cornice that is origional. The porch is supported by wood, Tuscan columns and has a
raised, brick pier foundation. Three concrete stairs flanked by two rusticated, stone-block piers with one Tuscan column support lead
to the west elevation entrance. The original entrance off of the north façade has been overgrown and the stairs are no longer visible
due to foundation shrubbery.
Maryland Historical Trust
Maryland Inventory of
Historic Properties Form
Inventory No.
69-023-28
Name Walter and Elsie Smith House
Continuation Sheet
Number 7
Page 1
The house has one projection and three additions all clad like the main house; the first projection is a two-story, 1 x 1 bay, on the south
façade. It has a front-gable roof of shallow pitch that is clad with asphalt shingles and has overhanging eaves. Fenestration is
asymmetrical; windows are single, six-over-six, double-hung vinyl sash replacement with wood trim.
The first addition is one-story, 1 x 1 bay located on the southeast elevation. It has a front-gable roof of shallow pitch that is clad with
asphalt shingles and has overhanging eaves. Fenestration is asymmetrical; windows are single, six-over-six, double-hung vinyl sash
replacement with wood trim.
The second addition is located on the first addition’s south elevation and is one-story, 1 x 2 bay. It has a hip-roof of shallow pitch clad
with asphalt shingles. On the south elevation is a ribbon of one-over-one, double-hung metal sash windows. There is a glazed, multilight, secondary entrance with two concrete steps off of the south elevation.
The third addition is one-story, 2 x 1 bay located on the first addition’s east elevation and the second addition’s north elevation. It has
a shed-roof or front-gable roof of shallow pitch. The fourth and final addition is a two-by one-story one-pile structure with a shedroof or low gable.
The dwelling has a one-story, 1 x 1 bay non-contributing shed located to the east. The shed has a gambrel roof of shallow pitch clad
with asphalt shingles. It is of wood-frame construction with a flush door and has a single-pane window with battered, wood shutters.
A wood flower box sits below the window’s sill.
The Walter and Elsie Smith House retains a moderate level of integrity due to the retention of the dwelling’s feeling and
workmanship. There is a loss of integrity of location, association, design, setting, and materials due to the house’s reorientation
towards a modern subdivision and the replacement of original materials. Despite the loss of setting, the house remains in its historic
location and is considered a landmark of the early Ardwick community.
8. Significance
Period
Areas of Significance
1600-1699
1700-1799
1800-1899
x 1900-1999
2000-
agriculture
archeology
architecture
art
commerce
communications
community planning
conservation
Specific dates
Inventory No. 69-023-28
Check and justify below
economics
education
engineering
entertainment/
recreation
ethnic heritage
exploration/
settlement
health/medicine
industry
invention
landscape architecture
law
literature
maritime history
military
X
Architect/Builder
Construction dates
performing arts
philosophy
politics/government
religion
science
social history
transportation
other: Local History
Unknown
c 1910
Evaluation for:
National Register
Maryland Register
not evaluated
Prepare a one-paragraph summary statement of significance addressing applicable criteria, followed by a narrative discussion of the
history of the resource and its context. (For compliance projects, complete evaluation on a DOE Form – see manual.)
SUMMARY
The stretch of Ardwick Ardmore Road between Routes 450 and 50 along historically provided homes to a group of African-American
professionals, primarily involved in segregated public schools (Division II) of the District of Columbia. The land along the road from
Bladensburg to Ardwick Station on the Pennsylvania Railroad had been part of the farms of William Beall and John Yost.1 In 1903 a
section of the land was sold to William Stanton Wormley, an artist and educator in the African-American schools in the District of
Columbia. William was the son of a successful businessman, James Wormley, who established the Wormley Hotel at 15th and H
streets.2 When James Wormley died in 1884, he left a substantial fortune to his children and grandchildren, who then moved on to
take prominent positions in African-American educational circles and societies in the District.3 William Stanton Wormley’s home
along Ardwick Ardmore Road became a retreat for many associates who soon sought homes outside the city in and around his
property.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
In 1911, Hunster purchased property from his colleague, William Stanton Wormley, next to Wormley’s home in Ardwick. Thomas
Hunster was a portrait and landscape painter and the head of the Art Department in the District of Columbia’s segregated public
schools.4 Born in Cincinnati in 1851, Hunster began his career in the Washington school system in 1874, serving as teacher and head
of the Art Department for 48 years. When Wormley and Hunster learned of the sale of the home adjacent to the Thomas Hunster
House property, they promptly informed their colleagues in the DC public schools, Walter and Elsie Smith. The Smith’s were both
prominent in the segregated public schools in the District of Columbia, Walter L. Smith was the principal of the Dunbar High School
for 21 years and his wife, Elsie Smith, was an English teacher there.5 Walter Smith died in 1943 and his wife remained in the house
until her death in 1990. The arrival of the Smiths increased the growing number of African-American families prominent in
educational circles in Washington DC who populated the Ardwick community. The Smith’s property was subdivided in 1997 and
now stands in a small subdivision at 4105 Elsie Court. Despite the loss of its historic landscape, the Smith house remains a noticeable
landmark in the community. The Walter and Elsie Smith House is significant for its character, interest, and value as a part of the
development, heritage, and cultural characteristics of the region, as an example of the cultural, economic, social, and historic heritage
1
“Ardwick.” EHT Traceries, 1997.
“Ardwick.”
3
“Ardwick.”
4
Pearl, Susan. African-American Heritage Survey 1996. The Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission: Prince George’s County
1996. The remaining paragraph has been paraphrased from the African-American Heritage Survey.
5
Pearl, Susan. African-American Heritage Survey 1996.
2
Maryland Historical Trust
Maryland Inventory of
Historic Properties Form
Inventory No.
69-023-28
Name Walter and Elsie Smith House
Continuation Sheet
Number 8
Page 1
of the County and its communities, as a representative of a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack
individual distinction, and for its association with a person or group of persons who influenced society.
Maryland Historical Trust
Maryland Inventory of
Historic Properties Form
Inventory No.
69-023-28
Name Walter and Elsie Smith House
Continuation Sheet
Number 8
Page 2
Chain of Title
Tax Map 51, Parcel 17
Deed
RSW1: 112
March 30, 1874
Joseph H. Turner to Maria A. Turner (his wife)
Deed
10:5
January 19, 1902
Maria A. Turner (widow) to Morton M. Turner
Deed
25: 30
January 10, 1905
Morton M. Turner to Walter Smith (husband of Elsie B. Smith)
Deed
8205: 114
February 12, 1992
Motoko Wals (Personal Representative of the Estate of Elsie B. Smith, deceased) to Robert Wals and
Motoko Wals (his wife)
Deed
11280: 020
February 6, 1997
Robert Walz and Motoko Walz (his wife) to James C. Williams
Deed
11503: 237
June 20, 1997
James C. Williams to Mary K. McFalls
9. Major Bibliographical References
Inventory No. 69-023-28
“Ardwick.” EHT Traceries, 1997.
Pearl, Susan. African-American Heritage Survey 1996. The Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission: Prince
George’s County 1996.
Prince George’s County Deed: RSW #1:112, #10:5, #25-30, #8205:114, #11280:020, #11503:237
Prince George’s County Land Records
10. Geographical Data
Acreage of surveyed property
Acreage of historical setting
Quadrangle name
.2323
2.5
WASHINGTON EAST
Quadrangle scale:
1=24,000
Verbal boundary description and justification
The Walter and Elsie Smith House is located on 4105 Elsie Court in Prince Georges’s County Maryland. It currently occupies
.2323 arces from the original 2.5 arces on plat 02178001 Block 1-A Lot 17. The western boundary is formed by Elsie Court, the
eastern boundary is formed by Lot 19, Lot 18 provides the northern boundary and finally Lot 16 forms the southern boundry. The
current lot is significantly smaller than the original; in 1997 (Deed #11280:20) the property was subdivided creating ten separate
lots in Block 1-A. The new lots are: Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, and Nineteen.
Since the division, all the lots have been developed and contain split-level homes. The house remains in its historic location;
however, the once semi-rural setting has been altered significantly by modern subdivisions and is now classified as suburban.
11. Form Prepared by
name/title
Amy Bolasky Skinner, Architectural Historian
organization
The Ottery Group for M-NCPPC Planning Department
date
2/23/09
street & number
3420 Morningwood Drive Suite 100
telephone
301.562.1975
city or town
Olney
state
MD
The Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties was officially created by an Act of the Maryland Legislature
to be found in the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 41, Section 181 KA,
1974 supplement.
The survey and inventory are being prepared for information and record purposes only
and do not constitute any infringement of individual property rights.
return to:
Maryland Historical Trust
Maryland Department of Planning
100 Community Place
Crownsville, MD 21032-2023
410-514-7600
CAPSULE SUMMARY
PG: 69-023-28
Walter Elsie Smith House
4105 Elsie Court
Hyattsville, Prince George’s County
c. 1910
Private
Walter and Elsie Smith were both prominent educators in the segregated public schools in the District of Columbia, Walter L. Smith
was the principal of the Dunbar High School for 21 years and his wife, Elsie Smith, was an English teacher there.6 The Smith’s
learned of a property in the Ardwick community from prominent educators in the DC segregated public schools, William Stanton
Wormley and Thomas Hunster. Walter Smith died in 1943 and his wife remained in the house until her death in 1990. The arrival of
the Smiths increased the growing number of African-American families prominent in educational circles in Washington DC who
populated the Ardwick community. The Smith’s property was subdivided in 1997 and now stands in a small subdivision at 4105 Elsie
Court. Despite the loss of its historic landscape, the Smith house remains a noticeable landmark in the community.
The Walter and Elsie Smith House is a vernacular revival style dwelling that lacks any distinguishing ornamentation. The original
dwelling is a two-and-a-half story, 3 x 2 bay, wood-frame house with a side-gable roof and square-plan. There is a one-story, wraparound porch along the north façade and west elevation, a rear, two-story, front-gable projection, a rear, one-story, front-gable
addition, and a rear, east, one-story, shed-roof addition that slightly alters the original square-plan of the main house block. The sidegable roof is of steep pitch clad with ashpalt shingles. The roof has slightly overhanging eaves and an original wide cornice. Two
oversized front-gable dormers are on the north façade and one, oversized, front-gable dormer is on the south façade’s southwest bay.
The dormers are clad in a secondary sheathing of asbestos siding and have single, replacement, six-over-six, vinyl, double-hung sash
windows. There is a single,vinyl replacement, six-over-six, double-hung sash window in each gable end’s peak. There is a single,
interior, stretcher bond chimney with a corbelled cap located on the roof’s ridge. The dwelling is of wood-frame construction with a
raised, brick foundation. The exterior is clad in a secondary sheathing of aesbestos siding and has symmetrical fensetration. The
original façade has the original entrance door in the northeast bay. The door is original wood with glazing and a one-light transom.
Windows on the first story are single, original wood, two-over-two, double-hung sash. Windows on the second-story are paired, vinyl
replacement, six-over-six, double-hung sash. All windows have wood surrounds while windows on the original, north façade and
west elevation have wood-louvered shutters. The west elevation, now the main entrance, has a first-story window that is original
wood, single, two-over-two-over-two, triple-hung sash. The west elevation’s second-story as one paired, replacement, six-over-six,
double-hung sash window and one single, replacement, six-over-six, double-hung sash window. The current main entrance on the
west elevation has a modern vinyl, glazed, 15-pane door with a one-light transom.
6
Pearl, Susan. African-American Heritage Survey 1996.