This Tuesday I took my first trip into the field and headed to Frederick. The weather was so nice that I almost thought spring had arrived, but the snow the next day put those thoughts in check. My first stop was the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum which is just a few blocks outside of downtown on Rosemont Avenue. Louise Hayman, PM’s Development and Communications Director, and few current and past PM board members came along for the visit, and our tour guides included a museum docent and the Frederick County Landmarks Foundation administrator and board president.
When I walked into Schifferstadt, I felt as though I had stepped into a vernacular architecture teaching lab. Although the floor plan is not a standard layout I am familiar with, it was reminiscent of many of the late 18th century floor plans I have studied. Throughout the house are many pieces of decorative hardware including hinges that look like ram’s horns and another set that look like flowers. Many of the ceiling beams have decorative chamfers and some of the interiors walls are half timbered.
The heating system in the house was the most remarkable thing to me. Located between two of the upstairs bedrooms is a five-plate stove which is original to the house. It is surprising to think that this stove survived in place for more than 250 years and for 200 of those years the house was occupied by various owners and tenants. The other neat feature of the house is its wishbone chimney. By directing the flues from the first floor stove, the two upstairs stoves and the main fireplace in the kitchen all into one chimney in the attic, the house builder created an open central hall on the inside and the look of a central chimney from the outside.
After visiting Schifferstadt, our group talked with a real estate agent who wants to educate other realtors about what they need to know when working with historic homes. More on this exciting education opportunity to follow.
Margaret, Education and Outreach Director