Statement of Significance (as of designation - February 16, 2000):
Sotterley is nationally significant for the outstanding character of its historic architecture and landscape. The main house is one of two surviving examples of post-in-ground framing extant in the Chesapeake region of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Due to the impermanent and ephemeral nature of post-in-ground construction, archaeology has been the primary means of studying this once dominant building tradition. Indeed, the original c. 1717 plan and framing at Sotterley provide exceptionally rare material evidence of this construction method. Beginning in the late 1720s and again in the 1750s, 1760s, 1840s, and 1910s, Sotterley underwent a series of modifications
and additions, which bear their own architectural significance. Most notable of these alterations are the decorative framing of the circa 1720s west wing and the installation in the 1760s of a grand Chippendale style stair and a pair of intricately carved shell alcoves. Just after the turn of the twentieth century, the house, grounds, and associated buildings underwent a significant campaign of restoration according to
the tenets of the Colonial Revival movement.