Tuesday, April 12, 2022

American Apartment Houses of Today: Illustrating Plans, Details, Exteriors

As I was searching for Palmer & Lamdin today, I came across an old issue of "American Apartment Houses of Today: Illustrating Plans, Details, Exteriors" from 1926. This was pretty much the time when the firm was busiest, designing everything from single family homes, grand apartment buildings and even a very elegant parking garage

I found the plans for two P&L projects, about which I have written before: The Roland Park Apartments, and the St. Paul Court Apartments


These old trade journals can be a goldmine of information!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

On the Market: 803 W. University Parkway

Nestled on the south side of University Parkway, overlooking the large green dell, this house is very deceptive on many levels. It’s one of P&L’s more unusual houses, first, because it’s a very early concrete house, second, because it’s in a Mediterranean style, and third, because it’s semi-detached. But at 4,200 square feet and eight bedrooms, it’s not a small house!

You enter the house through a wonderful porch, complete with classic steel windows, and a terra cotta tile floor, which is suitable for use three seasons of the year and immediately invokes a Mediterranean vibe.

Once you fully enter the house, you see that there is almost a Arts and Crafts-style in the original woodwork on the ceilings, staircase and fireplace, which fits in with the construction date of 1906. The main staircase is topped by an Arts and Crafts-style skylight. The current owners have taken full advantage of this style with paint colors which accent the wood beautifully.

The main level features the large hallway, a living room and dining room, both with fireplaces that have been adapted to wood-stoves, as well as an updated kitchen with a large island, which works well with the house’s Arts and Crafts style, and a newly installed powder room. There is a back staircase that leads up from the kitchen. The second level features four bedrooms and two baths, and the third floor has an additional four bedrooms and a bathroom. All of the bathrooms have recently been renovated.

The grounds of this house include a large patio off the kitchen, as well as two private parking spaces, which are always an asset.

The sweeping and winding University Parkway is one of Baltimore’s prettiest streets, with the “upper” and “lower” portions being home to some of the most distinguished houses in the city, many of them by Palmer & Lamdin. This house is within easy walking distance of the Rotunda and all it has to offer, as well as to Johns Hopkins University and all of its myriad programs and schools. The two off-street parking spaces are an added bonus this house offers.

If you’re an architecture geek, the fact that this house is one of the earliest concrete houses built is a bonus, as well as its design by Palmer & Lamdin, in addition to several other houses along University Parkway. The eight bedrooms can be filled by home offices or extra space for everyone. The listing for the house is here.

 Originally published in Baltimore Fishbowl

Thursday, March 10, 2022

On the Market: 4417 Norwood Road, Guilford

A while ago, I wrote about the houses on Norwood Road/Norwood Court. While Palmer & Lamdin designed several of the houses on Norwood Road, they designed all of the houses on Norwood Court, which is really just the end of Norwood Road.

As the listing mentions, the house is in the "classic English cottage" style, which is more or less true. These houses employ a typical Palmer trick - backing up on to a main road, in this case Old Cold Spring, which used to be "only" Cold Spring. Similar courts appear in Homeland as Paddington Court, and Middleton Court. It keeps the houses separated from the traffic on the road and forms a cohesive group of similar houses. 

From the listing: 

Do you want to live in the nicest neighborhood in the City? Welcome to Guilford and a Picture Perfect home abundant in elegance and sophisticated modern comforts.

With the charm of a classic English cottage {Helloooo??? Palmer & Lamdin!!!}, the unique character will wrap you like a hug when you step inside the door.
Take a minute to enjoy the natural sunlight that fills the glass-wrapped sunroom. Every room is generous in space. 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms are complimented by the extras within the delightful package.
A breakfast nook that could be an office, the mud room, the sturdy and vintage "Butlers pantry" and the "Sleeping porch" converted to a walk in closet.
Gleaming hard wood floors, a wood burning fireplace, glass door-knobs and stunning millwork including a gracefull staircase that must be appreciated throughout. A huge basement awaits your finishing touches. A new slate roof (good for another 50 years) waterproofed basement and drainage and painted exterior have the big ticket items covered. Central AC AND Radiator heat- the best of both worlds The best kept secret is the glorious landscaping in the front and the fenced back yard that will surprise and delight you for many months of the year.
Enjoy the lifestyle of living in Guilford and being walking distance to the delightful Sherwood Gardens- visit the tulips in April.

The listing is here. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

No. Six Coniston Road

As I've said a few times, Google sometimes throws out surprises when I search. Although I've had no. 6 Coniston Road in the catalogue raisonne since the beginning, it all of a sudden popped up in my searches today. 

Coniston Road is not dissimilar to the Sherwood House in Cromwell Park, with the random rubble-stone construction, the long, low profile and the L-shaped layout. The houses were also built within two years of each other, in 1934 and 1936. 

 This is what the listing had to say about Coniston Road.

Classic Palmer Lamdin stone colonial on almost 3 acres.

Extensively remodeled open kitchen into a large family room with wonderful stone fireplace.
Beautiful living and dining rooms. Handsome den and cute office. An addition includes a generous size master bath with closets and secluded covered porches.
Lush and mature landscaping. Renovated pool and pool house.
Private and secluded cul de sac.

 This is a great house and was last sold in 2014. The listing is here

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

12 Middleton Court

It always amazes me when I Google and come up with an old listing for a P&L house. This is exactly how I found a 2017 real estate listing for No. 12 Middleton Court. I've written about Middleton Court before, but the Court in general, not a specific house. 

Middleton Court is on the south side of Homeland and is about 12 houses accessed by a small footpath down the center.

The houses have an alley behind them for parking and car access (Robin Lane and Pasture Lane). The style is always referred to as "Charleston" or Southern Colonial style, although some people dispute that's what it really is!

The houses are all white-washed brick and are architecturally similar, with four bedrooms and three baths.

Number 12 is on the corner of the Court and Paddington Road, so is set slightly differently from the others.

As I was checking the listing, I was surprised to see a framed elevation of the house, with Palmer & Lamdin's signature block in the upper right corner.

Too bad the images are of such low quality, thus I couldn't get a good screen grab of it! 

The 2017 listing is here

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

119 Taplow Road - A True Gem

I am pretty sure I've mentioned that I grew up in an old stone house in Roland Park, one of the only all-stone ones in the neighborhood. But if you go over to Homeland or Guilford, there are many more stone houses. 

The house at 119 Taplow Road is one of those all-stone houses, and of course, it was designed by Palmer & Lamdin.

I happened to take a picture of 119 Taplow the other night as I was driving through Homeland looking at Christmas decorations. It is so completely charming, with its picket fence in the front, and the wreaths in the windows. 

When I started looking into the house, I checked the University of Baltimore's archives catalogue to see if they had anything, and they did - a pretty full set of plans and elevations for the house. Click here to view them. 
This is an interesting house because at first glance, it appears to be symmetrical, but after you study it for a few minutes, you realize that it's not! 
The plans were filed on October 19, 1927 and the client was Guy T.O. Hollyday, a proponent of urban housing renewal, and a man always involved in the real estate business. (click his name for his wiki-bio) The plans aren't in great shape and I had to do a lot of photoshopping them to make them readable. This is the south elevation, or the back of the house. 

The house hasn't been sold since since 1988, so there are no interior images of, but I would bet it's amazing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

P&L and the President's Son

Did you know that the son of President Grover Cleveland lived in Baltimore for decades? He and his second wife and his two sets of children were great friends of my family. If you remember your history, Grover Cleveland married very late in life - while he was the President. His wife was significantly younger than he was... like 40 years younger!

After attending Princeton and Harvard for law school, Dick Cleveland moved to Baltimore to join the law firm of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes. He engaged Palmer & Lamdin to build him a house at No. 6 Cotswold Road, sometimes considered Roland Park, and other times, Homeland.

The house is beautifully situated at the top of a hill. It's less ornate than many of P&L's other houses, without the turrets, dovecotes and the like. It's a Butler stone house with two bay windows with sidelights, flanking the front door and a circular drive leading up to the house. 

In recent years, someone added something above the front door, but I can't tell exactly what it is, even with my ace snooping skills! Someone suggested a retractable ramp to the front door, but I am sure that there would be a more subtle way to do that!

There is not a lot of information about this house, except this odd little piece - basically a preservation easement on the property. 

By the time I came around, the Clevelands had moved to Greenway in Guilford, to a house befitting a presidential son. Finally, they moved to a cottage on Woodlawn in Roland Park, where they lived until Dick Cleveland and his wife, "Aunt Babs" both died.