Monday, April 3, 2023

Franciscan Friars Novitiate

My friend, The Architect, was in town this lovely spring weekend for part two of our search for all things Palmer & Lamdin. Last time he visited, we did the big three: Roland Park, Homeland and Guilford. This time, we went a little farther afield, visiting Bancroft Road, Dumbarton and the Franciscan Friars Novitiate, aka the Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua, in western Howard County. 

I have visited this property a number of times because of its peaceful and contemplative nature. The Shrine appears on the list of projects from Palmer & Lamdin and its successive architectural firms. I was always surprised to see it on the list, as when it was built in in the late 1920s and was located in what was then a very rural section of Howard County. 

The property on which the Shrine is located was once owned by the Carroll family, and one of the original houses still remains just 100 yards from the Shrine. 

I love strolling through the four arcades which surround a central court-yard with a fountain.

The symmetry of the site, with its arches and groin vaulted ceilings, appeals to my sense of order.  

For the first time, we were able to have a small glimpse of the Shrine's library, and were delighted to see the small staircase leading to the mezzanine.

From the HABS report comes this description:

The library consists of a large room which is three bays wide, two bays deep, and one story high. It features a large fireplace centered on its west wall, similar to that in the refectory. This room is also beautifully paneled, and features a half story high, open book stack loft, which runs along the perimeter of the east, west and north walls of this room. The paneled library, with its fireplace of Italian stone, is stocked with volumns on such topics as Franciscans, the saints, prayer and meditation

Sadly, there were people meeting in the room, so we couldn't see all of it. Maybe next time!

Here are a few more images from our visit on Saturday:

The HABS reports have loads of detailed information on the Shrine, Carrollton Hall, which is on the same property, and the nearby Folly Quarter Farm, another historic Carroll property. 

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