Building Description Mount Lubentia Plantation - Magruder House, Largo Maryland
The exterior of this Federal-period brick dwelling is symmetrically balanced with entries at both the front and rear (a carriage front and garden front). Its exterior detailing is understated, accentuated almost exclusively by its pilastered, pedimented frontispiece with semi-circular fanlight. The interior, however, is asymmetrical in plan with a large L-shaped stair/center hall, and is ornate in its detailing which varies with each room. Including an elegant flowing stairway, built-in cabinets, wainscoting and other elaborate moldings, Mount Lubentia is perhaps the finest Federal period house in the county.
The main block is a two-story, five-bay-by-four-bay structure measuring approximately 48' x 37'. It has a low-pitched, hipped roof with dormers. The house is symmetrically balanced with front and rear entries (differing only in the frontispiece) . At the north side is a two-story, two-bay wide, hipped roof kitchen wing.
Mount Lubentia has an asymmetrical Georgian plan consisting of a center hall open to a stairhall where traditionally would be located the northeast room of a four-room plan. Thus, the house opens into this large L-shaped center/stair hall with doorways front and rear. The grand semicircular stair is to the north. Under the stair is a large closet (lit by a window) and a doorway to a back hall leading into the dining room and a doorway to the basement. Returning to the center hall, there is a parlor to the south with a fireplace to the center of the west wall. Behind the parlor is the dining parlor or library with a fireplace to the center of the east wall flanked by Federal-style china cabinets. The dining room, across the center hall from the library, also has a fireplace at the east wall with a cupboard to the south side. To the north side is a doorway into the back hall.
At the north wall of the dining room is a passthrough cupboard into the pantry, next to a doorway into the kitchen wing. A hallway, with a pantry to the east and a partially boxed stairway to the west, connects the kitchen with the dining room. The kitchen is one large room with a fireplace (closed over) on the north wall with exterior doorways (into the porch) to the west and east.
The second floor follows the same pattern as the first with a large L-shaped center/stair hall and three bed-chambers. There are three doorways along the south wall. The first is into the southeast bedroom where there is a fireplace along the west wall. The middle doorway leads to a boxed winder stairway into the partially finished attic. The third doorway leads into the southwest bedroom where there is a fireplace along the east wall with a closet to the south side. At the west end of the center hall is a large bathroom. To the northwest is another bedroom with a fireplace along the east wall with closets to either side. Through this bedroom is entered the second floor of the kitchen wing, with a small L-shaped hall with the stairway to the west, a closet to the east and two doorways (at an angle) into small bedrooms.
The third floor or attic has been partially finished and dormers added to provide light. The center portion is a single large room with built-in drawers and cupboard on the south wall and shelves on the north. There is a ladderlike stair to the widow's walk. A bathroom is to the west. To either side of the center room is an unfinished attic space (it is here that the twisting chimneys and charred roof-rafters are visible).
There is a full basement under the main block, entered from a stairway underneath the main stairway. Stone walls running north-south divide the basement into two sections. The former "winter kitchen" is located to the northwest with a large fireplace for cooking. It is now largely enclosed for the use of the furnace. Towards the south end of the room is the base of the chimney block for the southeast and southwest rooms, with a relieving arch.
There are six fireplaces with decorative mantels in the main block and one in the kitchen of the wing. The three first-floor mantels are similar but different. All the fireplaces are flanked by fluted pilasters with a frieze broken by a raised center panel and panels over the pilasters. Variations occur in the moldings above and below the frieze and in the frieze panels, which have reeded and/or dentiled trim or other carved patterns. The second-floor mantels are similar, federal-style mantels, each varying in its details. The most elaborate is that found in the southeast bedroom, which has a sunburst pattern in the center of the frieze, and smaller sunburst medallions atop the pilasters.
Mount Lubentia sits atop a knoll, facing east towards Largo Road, although far enough away from it not to be visible. A drivewayleading from Largo Road begins at the northeast then turns to the south past the front of the house at the bottom of the knoll. There is a garage to the southeast of the house along the drive, but the drive continues from here on to the farm outbuildings southwest of the house. A path leads from the garage/parking area north past the front of the house. The house and outbuildings and surrounding grounds consist of 6.69 acres.