Farewell to the Pat­ter­son House — for now

Maryland Independent - - News - By SARAH FALLIN sfallin@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @CalRecSARAH

The 85-year-old Pat­ter­son House on the grounds of Jef­fer­son Pat­ter­son Park and Mu­seum in St. Leonard will close its doors to vis­i­tors un­til some­time in 2021 at the end of Septem­ber for some much-needed up­grades.

The house’s elec­tri­cal and HVAC sys­tems re­main the same as they were when the house was con­structed 85 years ago, ex­plained Mark Thomp­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Jef­fer­son Pat­ter­son Park and Mu­seum. Through­out the next few years, those sys­tems and more will be up­graded.

In 1932, Jef­fer­son Pat­ter­son, a Wash­ing­ton, D.C., diplo­mat, paid $5,000 to bring the first elec­tric line to the es­tate. Pat­ter­son built the 10,000-square­foot house as a place to get away. At the time, he was a bach­e­lor. He even­tu­ally mar­ried Mary Marvin Breck­en­ridge Pat­ter­son. De­spite the size of the house and the Pat­ter­sons’ wealth, the home isn’t ex­traor­di­nar­ily lav­ish, but the fur­nish­ings are all still orig­i­nal and re­main in the same spots the Pat­ter­sons placed them.

Mary Pat­ter­son was the one who in­sti­gated the first ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sur­vey of the prop­erty, which led to the dis­cov­ery of sig­nif­i­cant Amer­i­can In­dian ac­tiv­ity at the site. Re­search and ed­u­ca­tion sur­round­ing this con­tin­ues to this day. Mary Pat­ter­son do­nated the house to the state in 1983 af­ter Jef­fer­son Pat­ter­son died in 1977, ac­cord­ing to pre­vi­ous re­ports.

The first step for the up­grades of the his­toric house will be to pack up, store and cat­a­logue ev­ery­thing in the house, which Thomp­son said will take months. That’s why the house is clos­ing its doors to vis­i­tors at the end of Septem­ber, even though most of the ac­tual work isn’t ex­pected to take place un­til 2019.

Up­grades planned also in­clude im­prov­ing ac­ces­si­bil­ity for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, struc­tural in­tegrity, fire sup­pres­sion and se­cu­rity. The up­grades are funded through the state’s Cap­i­tal Improvement Plan and have been in the works for years.

“We’re re­ally talk­ing about look­ing at the house from top to bot­tom,” Thomp­son said.

When the house opens back up to vis­i­tors, the sec­ond floor will be open for the first time in a long time. Cur­rently, only the first floor is open as part of pub­lic tours.

To say a tem­po­rary farewell to the Pat­ter­son House, Jef­fer­son Pat­ter­son Park and Mu­seum will host what Sher­wana Knox, spe­cial events and mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor, calls “a reg­u­lar tour on steroids” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Satur­day, Sept. 30.

Rem­i­nis­cent of the Mon­day Mem­o­ries tours of­fered at the house, the Sept. 30 event will in­clude a tour, re­fresh­ments and en­ter­tain­ment and is free and open to the pub­lic. There will be a tent set up in the back­yard over­look­ing the wa­ter.

The free Mon­day Mem­o­ries tours of the Pat­ter­son House are held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. each Mon­day. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 410-586-8501, or go to www.jef­pat.org.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.