Steiner House Early Years To Present
Architectural reviews of Steiner House say it is one of the most outstanding examples of colonial design still in existence.
Stephen Steiner built the original home in 1807, as a home for his family. The original portion of Steiner House was small with two first floor rooms and two stairways leading to two bedrooms on the second floor. There were three fireplaces, including the hearth in the kitchen provided heating and was used for cooking. With a growing family and more social obligations, the home proved to be too small. So in 1817, Steiner built a much grander addition of three floors to the front of his home. It included a beautiful front door with an unusual elliptical heading using glass of delicate lead tracing of flowers and tiny pineapples, denoting colonial hospitality. The original marble steps are still in place.
Entering the gracious colonial hallway, visitors can see a lofty fluted white arch above and a graceful mahogany and maple staircase leading to the second and third floors. There are two bedrooms on the second floor, and a small sitting room that connects to the original part of the house.
On the first floor, to the left, is a large double parlor, divided by wooden doors. The floors are still the original boards. The bricks used in the home are laid in Flemish Bond, having alternate ends and sides of the bricks exposed. Many reports said the bricks were actually made on the premises.
The home was the scene of many parties and balls. Many architectural reviews of the house call it one of the most outstanding examples of colonial design still in existence in America. After Steiner’s death in 1829, his widow lived in the home until she sold it in 1837. The next owner lived there for 11 years when he sold it to the Lipps family. Steiner House remained in the Lipps family for almost 100 years, the last family to use it as a private residence.
In 1945, the Historical Society of Frederick County acquired Steiner House to use as its headquarters. After the Society purchased its present headquarters on East Church Street, Steiner House’s fate was in doubt. One plan was to turn the desirable corner property into a gas station!
The Frederick Woman’s Civic Club would not let this happen. Members stepped up to purchase Steiner House in 1962. Much work and money has gone into the maintenance and repair of the house, now used as the FWCC headquarters. Our members are proud to share this beautiful and significant historical home with the public during designated tours.
In the mid-1960s, the Garden Club of Frederick designed and installed a garden and patio areas at the side and rear of the house. This work brought the Garden Club several awards. years later, a section of the garden became home to the historic Marie Diehl Memorial Fountain. Nearby is the restored Summer Kitchen, open during tours of Steiner House.
This article would not be possible without the research and documentation by FWCC club member Dr. Frances A. Randall.
This Place Matters
The Frederick Woman’s Civic Club has collaborated with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in This Place Matters, a national campaign to save historic places in communities across America. We follow the leadership of the General Federated Women’s Club in supporting this national campaign.
Through This Place Matters, we join a group of dedicated people throughout the country who have committed to preserving the places that tell stories of our history. This will help protect America’s heritage for future generations. FWCC main focus is to preserve the Steiner House for Frederick History.
By preserving and maintaining Steiner House, our club follows in the proud tradition of GFWC. Since 1922, GFWC’s leadership has helped preserve the club’s national historic headquarters, located in what the National Park Service describes as “one of the most varied and architecturally intact blocks” in the Washington, D.C., Dupont Circle neighborhood.