The Pierce-Klingle House, or Klingle Mansion, is situated on Williamsburg Lane above the west bank of Rock Creek less than half a mile below Pierce Mill. Joshua Pierce, a son of the mill builder, built the house in 1823 and enlarged it by an addition on the west side 20 years later. The Pennsylvania Dutch-style structure is of blue and gray granite and encloses 10 rooms within its three stories. A two-story stone and wood frame barn stands to the east, and a utility house and potting shed flank the rear.
An avid horticulturalist, Pierce named the property Linnaean Hill for Karl Van Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, and cultivated a wide variety of plants there. Upon his death in 1869 the property passed to his wife's nephew, Joshua Pierce Klingle; the Klingles occupied it until the early 1890s, when it was acquired for Rock Creek Park. Its future then became problematic. In 1908 Louis P. Shoemaker, a grand-nephew of Joshua Pierce, urged its conversion to "a reception hall for the protection, advantage, and pleasure of the public," with exhibits on the natural and human history of the park.  His suggestion was not adopted, and the house was kept in residential occupancy by park staff. Patrick Joyce, maintenance foreman under the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds, lived there before 1926, when Joseph J. Quinn took both the job and the house. Quinn was paying $15 a month in rent and employing the property as a maintenance center when he and the park were transferred to the National Park Service in 1933.