Downtown Frederick has a proud history and diverse building stock with a range of architectural styles and influences. From small dwellings to public, commercial, and industrial structures, many of the sites on this tour date to the first half of the 19th century, a significant period of growth for the city. In its early years, Frederick grew quickly with dense development along Market and Patrick streets. In 1806, Congress authorized the construction of a new National Road connecting Maryland to Illinois. The Maryland segment connected Baltimore to Cumberland, generating growth along main streets in Frostburg, Cumberland, Middletown, Frederick, New Market, and Mt. Airy. Patrick Street is significant for its early role as the main street route of the National Road.
While the sites on this tour are concentrated around the original downtown core, centered at Market and Patrick, the city now extends far beyond this area. As development pushed out of the downtown, the city’s 80 block historic district has remained remarkably intact. Whether this is your first time visiting Frederick or you walk these historic streets daily, new discoveries await you. The sites featured on this tour are just a handful of highlights within the city’s historic district. The buildings you encounter as you navigate between the featured sites are equally important to Frederick’s architectural history.