Friday, September 25, 2020

Gibson Island

From the earliest days of their partnership, P&L had an affiliation with Gibson Island, a small community located between Baltimore and Annapolis on the Chesapeake Bay. The landscaping plan was devised by the Olmsted Brothers Corporation.
The first mention of GI in the catalogue raisonné at the University of Baltimore is a notation of Palmer designing his own house on the island. This is followed by the Donald Sherwood House, the Paul Patterson House and the Symington House. Additionally, there is a house for Mrs. M.M. Anderson. 

In April of 1930, there is a mention in the Baltimore Sun that ELP had sold his house on Skippers Row, on Harbor Water Road, overlooking the inner harbor.
It contained 10 rooms, and two baths and sits on a lot of 129 by 212 feet. “Mr. Palmer, according to the announcement, has purchased a site on the island for the erection of a larger house during 1931.”

I had a chance to visit GI a few weeks ago on a beautiful summer day, just after a big storm blew through. 
My friend, who is a member of Gibson Island, and I drove around trying to figure out which houses were designed by P&L. Because we've had so much rain this summer, everything was lush and green, so it wasn't very easy to see the houses. And because GI is such a private place, the houses are set back from the road. 
The house below, located next to the GI Clubhouse, is the Donald Sherwood House, as mentioned above, which looks east over the Chesapeake Bay. In the third picture, I tried to take a picture of the weather vane from the second picture, but because of the greenery, you can't see it.
Just north of this house is St. Christopher's By-the-Sea, the non-denominational chapel on the island. I've been to several small (because the chapel is small) weddings there, and it's completely charming. 
Gibson Island sometimes has real estate open days, so keep your eyes open for that. Otherwise, the island is private and your name must be on a list in order to visit. 

I left the island to drive back to Baltimore just as the sun was setting over the harbor. 
We are so fortunate to have places like this in our backyard. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

On the Market: 6 Englewood Road

No. 6 Englewood Road: Semi-Detached Palmer & Lamdin House on a Private Park in Roland Park; Five Bedrooms/Four Baths; $749,000

Hot House: If you know early 20th century residential architecture in Baltimore, then you understand the special place that Palmer & Lamdin have in shaping the look of Roland Park, Homeland, Guilford and Original Northwood. Their houses are searched out and treasured by architectural aficionados for their thoughtful details and signature touches.

What: This semi-detached house on Englewood Road, just a block off of Falls Road, and a few blocks south of Northern Parkway, is one of an enclave of houses that back up to a private park available only to the residents. If you understand the architectural vernacular of English garden cities, this group of houses is a perfect example, and they look as if they belong in England, too.

No. 6 Englewood Road is filled with light and space. The updated kitchen, featuring Kitchenaid Architecture Series appliances, will be the heart of the house, especially since it also contains a wet bar with a live-edge counter and a wine refrigerator. 

There is a dining room off of the kitchen which could be either casual or formal, depending on your décor. And the living room features a classic wood-burning fireplace for those cozy evenings at home. A sunny sunroom provides a quiet spot for reading, playing board games or watching television.

There are three bedrooms on the second floor, and in a stroke of genius, the laundry room is also located there, which saves “loads” of time! The largest bedroom has an adjacent bath, and a walk-in closet. The other two bedrooms share a bath. The third floor has space for another bedroom, plus another room which could be used as a bedroom, home office or playroom. And there is another bathroom up there as well.

However, it’s the outside space that makes this house special. In addition to a good-sized landscaped fenced-in back yard, the house backs up onto a private park, owned in common with the surrounding houses, and accessible only by them. Old growth trees provide loads of ambience and shade during our hot Baltimore summers. 

Where: No. 6 Englewood Road is on the northwest edge of Roland Park. It’s less than three minutes (depending on the traffic lights) to the Jones Falls Expressway. The shops and library on Roland Park are just a few minutes’ drive, or a 20-minute walk. There are numerous public and private schools within a mile and a half. There are communal events held for the neighbors in the private park.

Final Appraisal: Palmer & Lamdin were the premiere architects of Roland Park, Homeland and Guilford. Their residential work has stood the test of time for more than 100 years, and their houses are highly prized by their owners. This house has been somewhat updated, but the original charm still shines through. The house will officially be on the market on October 3, 2020. The listing is here

Originally printed in Baltimore Fishbowl, Sept. 21, 2020