Large estates, such as Riversdale, had a number of outbuildings. These support structures, or dependencies, were essential to the operation of a large property. Historians and archaeologists have documented that a kitchen, servant quarters, wash house, smokehouse, privy, and garden wall formerly occupied the yard east (this side) of the mansion.
This dependency is the last surviving outbuilding from the Riversdale estate. Structural investigations indicate that it was likely built in the mid-nineteenth century, probably during the occupancy of Charles Benedict Calvert. however archaeological investigation of the dirt and clay floor revealed an earlier foundation, suggesting that there may have been a similar building on this site during the lifetimes of Rosalie and George Calvert.
This structure, approximately 30 feet east of the main house, is a simple two-story building with two entrances. Like the main house, it is constructed of brick and covered with stucco. A central chimney served a fireplace in each of the two side-by-side units and a stair ladder provided access to the second story.
Over the years this building had many different uses. An 1849 fire insurance policy refers to it as a "Servants House of Brick," while a later document suggests it was used as a kitchen. A listing in the 1860 census indicates that a family was occupying the structure at that time. With the restoration of the building, the south half (right side) of the structure has been interpreted as a working replica kitchen and the north half (left side) will be used for a variety of exhibits.