Built between 1801 and 1807, Riversdale exemplifies the late Georgian and Federal architectural styles that were common in colonial America. The mansion was built for Flemish aristocrat, Henri Joseph Stier, and was finished by his daughter Rosalie Stier Calvert, wife of George Calvert. The Calverts' son, Charles Benedict Calvert, inherited the mansion after his mother's death in 1821. Charles Benedict Calvert is best known for his role in the House of Representatives for sponsoring the legislation which established the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also established the Maryland Agricultural College, which eventually became the University of Maryland, College Park.
After Calvert's death in 1864, the mansion underwent several ownerships, including three Congressmen, until it was finally sold to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1949. It was used for offices until 1982 when structural concerns caused the need for renovations. The house began renovation and restoration in 1988 and was open to the public as a museum in 1993. The house was restored to its 1801-1802 appearance and was furnished with many items belonging to the Calvert family. The mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.
Performances take place in the old Carriage House. Originally, this room was used to store the carriage and horses. The room has a large doorway which leads directly outside, high ceilings, and even a second floor room where the coachman would have lived. In the 1920s the room was damaged by a fire and repurposed for a music room. Along the walls are paintings of the Barons Baltimore of the Calvert family.