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1742–1746, Benjamin Tasker; c. 1914 wings, Delano and Aldrich. 12207 Tulip Grove Dr.
  • (Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie)

Built for Provincial Governor Samuel Ogle, this massive, seven-bay Georgian house remained the country estate of his descendants for four generations. The main block features pedimented central pavilions, a low-pitched hip-on-hip roof, glazed header brick facade, a galleted foundation, and a rear cryptoporticus. Benjamin Ogle, governor of Maryland from 1798 to 1801, was the second owner. Belair was purchased in 1898 by wealthy bachelor banker James T. Woodward, later passing to his nephew, lawyer and banker William Woodward, who was responsible for the flanking hyphenated wings. In the 1950s, the Belair estate was acquired by Levitt and Sons and developed into a residential community known as Belair at Bowie, using the house as offices. Once the residential development was completed, Belair served as Bowie’s City Hall before being restored as a museum and event venue.

Since Samuel Ogle’s time, Belair has been associated with horse breeding and thoroughbred horse racing, a popular Maryland pastime. The Woodward family continued the tradition with two Triple Crown winners. Befitting Belair’s equestrian prominence is a 1907 stable composed of a hip-roofed main block of local sandstone, with two perpendicular brick sheds to form a U-shaped structure with a central drive-through arch, living quarters, and carriage house. It was acquired by the City in 1969 and restored in 2001 as a horse-racing museum.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1742

  • 1907

    Stable built
  • 1950

    Estate developed into residential community
  • 1969

    City acquires house
  • 2001


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "BELAIR", [Bowie, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 292-292.

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