Prince George's County, located in Maryland, is a county with a long and fascinating architectural history. From its earliest settlers to its modern-day developments, the county has seen a variety of architectural styles and influences. From the Georgian and Federal-style plantation houses of the 18th century to the mid-century modern buildings of today, there is something for everyone to appreciate in Prince George's County. The county's first inhabitants, who moved north along the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers from the original settlements in southern Maryland, brought their architectural traditions from southern Tidewater with them.
These vernacular traditions evolved over time, leading to the rise of small houses, particularly the bungalow, which can be seen throughout the county today. The establishment of the nation's capital in Washington D. C. also had an impact on Prince George's County architecture.
The proximity of the county to the capital brought architectural influences and confidence in the economic and cultural future of the county. The O'Dea House in Berwyn Heights, built in the late 1880s, is an example of Shoppell designs in Prince George's County. The introduction of commuter rail in the 1880s and 1890s also had an effect on Prince George's County architecture. Suburban neighborhoods were formed and housing plans expanded due to factors such as the prosperity of the tobacco trade and the spread of architectural styles and availability of building materials.
One of the most significant examples of 20th century architecture in Prince George's County is Greenbelt, a planned community developed in the late 1930s by the federal government. This trend was closely related to the rise of small houses, especially the bungalow, which today is seen in all its forms throughout the county. Prince George's County architecture has developed and matured over time, moving from vernacular traditions to nationally recognized styles that reflect a thriving metropolitan area. Mid-century modern buildings are among the most underrated and vulnerable aspects of Prince George's County architectural heritage.
As a new tradition develops, it becomes a vital link in the evolution of the county's architectural heritage. Prince George's County is home to a variety of unique housing styles and architectures that are worth exploring.