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c. 1790 to present. Market St. between 4th and All Saints sts., and Patrick St. from Court to Carroll sts.
  • (HABS)
  • (Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie)

The commercial heart of Frederick is the district along the intersecting Market and Patrick streets, segments of the early roads through Frederick. While few of the first-period log buildings erected by German settlers remain, still extant are Federal buildings dating from the 1790s through the 1840s. They are identified by their two-story, gable-roofed configurations, Flemish-bond brick, and Federal detailing. Many in the commercial area typically combined a house and shop, recognized by the decorative entrances into the residential section with storefront display windows added later, such as 209–211, 217–219, and 306–308 N. Market. The shop-house pattern continued into the late nineteenth century with such examples as 332–334 Market, built of pressed brick with stone and terra-cotta details.

Today’s commercial streetscapes are mostly composed of buildings from the post-Civil War recovery through the early twentieth century in various popular styles. Among the earliest Italianate buildings is the Baltimore and Ohio passenger station (1854; 100 S. Market) and the distinctive former City Hall and Market House (1873; 124 N. Market). Italianate soon dominated the commercial streetscape, featuring ornamental cast-iron drip-mold lintels, bracketed cornices, and elongated windows, exemplified by 48–52, 104–106, and 108–110 Market.

Richardsonian Romanesque is exemplified by Hendrickson Dry Goods (42–44 N. Market), designed by German-born John A. Dempwolf, and the Benjamin Rosenour and Sons Mercantile Building (c. 1885; 37 N. Market), once one of the largest businesses of its type in the region. The now-commercial Romanesque Revival Houck House (1891; 228 N. Market) was designed by Dempwolf for Ezra Houck Jr., a wealthy landowner and businessman from an early German family, with the initials of progenitors Ezra and Catherine Houck in the family crest over the entrance and the faces of his daughters flanking the doorway. The elaborate Gomber Building (c. 1895; 36 S. Market) features a full cast-iron facade, manufactured by Mesker Brothers of St. Louis.

The twentieth century is represented by such Classical Revival buildings as the Mutual Insurance Company building (c. 1924; 112–114 N. Market), and Citizens Bank (1909, John A. Dempwolf; 2 S. Market). The bank is the most noteworthy of three banks erected at the “Square Corner” intersection of Market and Patrick streets, signifying Frederick’s financial dominance. The Tivoli Theater (1927; 20 W. Patrick) was designed by John J. Zink, a Baltimore architect specializing in Mo-derne movie theaters, and built to accommodate both silent movies and live stage. Also noteworthy is the United Fire Company building (1848, 1905; 77–79 S. Market).

More eclectic buildings of note are the former Harris and Fuller Wholesale House (16–18 E. Patrick) exemplifying the period use of terra-cotta and pressed metal. The Rosenstock Building (c. 1900; 5–7 E. Patrick) that housed Joseph Rosenstock’s clothing business features a grid of geometric spandrels and piers, bay windows, and classical cornice. Francis Scott Key Hotel (1923; 17–19 W. Patrick) was the city’s first large-scale, luxury hotel, built on the site of earlier inns and marking a new era in hospitality. Its construction was sponsored by civic leaders to attract wealthy tourists.

The Ideal Car Company showroom (c. 1911; 112 E. Patrick) is more typical of early-twentieth-century commercial buildings with its parapet roofline and large plate-glass windows. The concrete Hardey Building (1936; 154 N. Market) is one of the few inspired by Art Deco. More recent is the modern courthouse and plaza, built by CAM Construction and completed in 1982. Incorporating rehabilitation of the adjacent late-eighteenth-century houses of political dignitaries John Hanson and Phillip Thomas (108 and 110 W. Patrick) was a nod to the town’s early heritage. Carroll Creek Park (1970s-2016), a linear-designed landscape oriented along a canal that crosses under Market Street, was created as a flood control project to protect the historic downtown; it offers pedestrian paths, bridges, and a small, open-air amphitheater for performances.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie


What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "FREDERICK BUSINESS DISTRICT", [Frederick, 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, 334-336.

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