Spy House of the Week: An American Four-Square on Washington Avenue


My last house in Tennessee was a four square and I loved its simple geometry. This majestic house embodies all of the hallmarks of this style with its square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories, hipped roof with center dormer and a large wrap-around front porch with wide stairs.

This three-story residence in Chestertown’s National Register Historic District was constructed in 1908 by master-builder Walter Pippin. The exterior red brick walls, tall windows with contrasting off-white cement lintels, sills and the water table transition at the foundation, wrap-around porch, restrained trim, and graceful dormer windows are a welcome relief from its more exuberant Victorian neighbors.

The house has been meticulously restored from the Widow’s Walk down to the matching rails around the porch roof, widow’s walk and side entry; the gable window details; the original stained oak woodwork of the three story stairwell, wood interior pocket doors in the parlor and the wood interior five paneled doors throughout the house.
The brick two-bay garage with its pyramidal pressed tin roof, carriage house type garage doors and trimwork blends seamlessly with the older house.





For more information about this property, contact Nancy McGuire with Maryland Heritage Properties at 443-480-7342 or nmguire@MDHeritage.properties.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.


Letters to Editor

  1. Kevin Hemstock says:

    This is a great report on one of the many beautiful late 19th and early 20th century homes on Washington Avenue in Chestertown, Md. While it was built by Walter Pippin it was designed by W.S & A.M. Culp, in an odd bidding process. Pippin and the Culps were competitors. Construction actually began in the spring of 1909. It was built for Fred G. Usilton, editor and publisher of the Kent News.

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