The Howard House

Located in the heart of Historic Ellicott City, The Howard House, built circa 1850, was a favorite dining and lodging destination during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Currently, the building houses first-floor retail and apartments on the upper four floors.

“Ellicott City is an extremely well-preserved 19th-century mill town whose sturdy architecture has remained intact and unaltered”; National Register. The Howard House sits prominently due to its size and location on Main Street at the intersection of Old Columbia Pike and anchors the center of the commercial district. The existing character-defining features include an ashlar granite facade with fine quoining and coursing and a first-floor wood porch with a simple flat roof supported by eight scroll iron columns and detailed decorative ironwork.

The collaborative work of the owner, architect, contractors, and local artisans included the reconstruction of an original (lost) second-floor porch, restoration of exterior wood shutters, stone repointing, and repainting of all exterior woodwork with historic paint colors. Following two recent major storm events, construction resiliency was designed into the new work to ensure long-lasting results for the reconstruction and repair work. The design and implementation of the second-floor porch and detail sought to re-establish a connection between the existing historic streetscape and enhance its prominence with additional amenity space for residents to enjoy.

The project is an excellent example of how preservation and restoration can engage in a greater context of a historic commercial district. Maintaining the integrity of materials and craft yielded a beautiful and historic reconstruction of this porch to its former glory. The Howard House will continue to be a landmark for Ellicott City for years.

Project Data
Date1850, 2022
LocationEllicott City, MD
Consultants ron peters, owner and construction managerbill knapp, bill knapp arts
Photography anne gummerson
Collection RESTORE
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