Fun Fact: One of the Most Beautiful Doorways in America Resides in This Maryland County

The Hammond-Harwood House in Anne Arundel County is said to have one of the most beautiful doorways in America.

The Hammond-Harwood House was designed in spring 1774 by William Buckland, a well-known British architect who came to the colonies as an indentured servant in 1755. He is credited for introducing a variety of designs into mainstream architecture in the colonies.

Buckland drew from a variety of architectural styles when designing the front door of the Hammond-Harwood House. The hand-carved door is made from locally harvested southern pine with design elements inspired by ancient Greece and Rome.

Hammond-Harwood House Front Door. Courtesy of Sarah Churchill Kell

The doorway features classical Greek columns that symbolize wisdom and can be seen on many buildings built in the United States soon after its founding. Laurel leaves, which were historically awarded to victors of ancient Greek competitions and used in British architectural designs of the time, also adorn the doorway. Its arch was inspired by American architecture and denoted the transition from a city sidewalk to a citizen’s private dwelling.

Buckland’s portfolio includes Gunston Hall (home of George Mason in Virginia) and another Annapolis historic landmark, the Chase Lloyd House. However, the Hammond-Harwood House (and its front door) remain his crowning jewel and the only one of the many commissions he designed and executed in its entirety. Sadly, Buckland died before the house was finished.

Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Allison Valliant to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.