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. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

101 Witherspoon Road

Friends of mine grew up in this house and used to have epic parties on the enclosed side/back lawn, with drinks on the stone loggia.
At one party, I was gesturing grandly with my arm, and managed to smack someone in the face. This might have been after a drink or two...

Anyway, this is a great house.

It's on the corner of Witherspoon Road and Charles Street, directly across from the big Cathedral. I love a stone house, and this one is no exception. 

This is the realtor's listing from 2015. It's rather scant, but there used to be a word limit on the multiple listing site. 

A stunning Palmer Lamdin stone residence in one of Homeland's premiere locations. This beautifully appointed home is a rare find; from original custom built-ins to a magnificently updated kitchen. This wonderful home combines details of old and new.
Gracious living room and dining room; cozy yet large library and a fabulous loggia make this perfect for entertaining.
Amazing master suite, finished lower level -perfect all around.
This house sold for $1.234 million in 2015. The original listing is here. 

3609 Greenway

I have always thought this was an elegant house, sitting at the southern-most end of Guilford. The typical P&L combination of brick and stone, along with the sinuous lantern above the door, really make this an eye-catcher. 

It was on the market earlier this year, but I forgot to write about it, and on my monthly search for new P&L houses, I spotted it. 

From the realtor's listing:

Historic Guilford home designed by Palmer & Lamdin and built by the Roland Park Company featuring 7 spacious Bedrooms, 4 full Bathrooms, 2 half Bathrooms and a fully finished Lower Level. This stately french style Colonial is situated across from the beautiful and quite Gateway Park and is very conveniently located within walking distance to all the wonderful shops, stores, museums and restaurants of Charles Street and Johns Hopkins University and with quick and easy access to Downtown and Towson. When you tour this home, you can't help but notice how it has been lovingly cared for and meticulously maintained by the current owners.

The entire lower level has been fully finished with polished concrete floors, recess lights, fresh paint and a very spacious Laundry Room was added with a sink, wood countertops, storage, and two dryers and one washer. The owners also installed a new French Drain and Sump Pump in the walk-up breezeway for piece of mind.

Back inside the home you are going to fall in love with the fantastic flow of the floor plan. From the luxurious chef's Kitchen - that features a large island with seating, granite countertops, high-end appliances, a range hood, and 42 inch solid wood cabinets - you have excellent sight lines into the Living Room and the Family Room. The Family Room, which is directly off the Kitchen, features a gorgeous stone and brick wall, 4 sets of french doors that lead to the back Patio, 2 skylights and walk-through to the Living Room. The very spacious Living Room features hardwood floors and a gorgeous wood burning fireplace. Off the Living Room is a nice Sunroom that makes for a perfect Office or Library. And if all of this isn't enough, upstairs you will find 7 Bedrooms and 4 full Bathrooms smartly spaced out over the 2nd and 3rd floors. And every bedroom has beautiful hardwood floors!

Outside of the home you will find a cozy side stone patio that was recently rebuilt, a peaceful and private back yard and 2nd large patio that is perfect for relaxing, entertaining guests or enjoying your morning coffee. The home also boasts a sizable 2 car attached garage and plenty of off-street parking in the driveway.

In short, the lovely Guilford home is not one to miss. And it must be seen in person to truly appreciate the size and quality

Can someone please tell me what's up with the Random capitalization in ALL real estate ads? And no caps where there should be caps!

And seriously? This dog is going to be out of its enclosure in a minute!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

On the Market: 8 Bishop's Road

I have "known" this house for many years, as friends lived along Bishop's Road and I'd drive by it frequently. It's really a gorgeous house and was designed in the "Spanish" style by Edward Palmer in 1920. 

From the realtor's listing:

Designed by famed architect Edward L. Palmer, this elegant south facing stucco home has been beautifully expanded and renovated and is ready for its next lucky steward.

Custom iron gates offer entry to the light filled center hall which is flanked by the living and dining rooms.

The sunroom overlooks the oversized stone patio w/ gas-burning fireplace and newly landscaped flat back yard. Through the butler's pantry to the newly renovated kitchen which opens to a large breakfast room and laundry/mud room.

Atop the stairs is a charming office through which the Juliette balcony with iron railings is accessed via French doors.

The primary bedroom wing has his and hers baths, a room sized walk-in closet and an additional bedroom/study/nursery. Two additional bedrooms and renovated hall bath round out the second floor. The finished third floor offers additional private lounging space.

Combining expert workmanship and great style, 8 E. Bishops is a special place to call home. The listing is here.

Monday, November 8, 2021

On the Market: 203 Chancery Road

Honestly, 203 Chancery Road is everyone's favorite houses in Guilford. It sits at the intersection of Greenway and Chancery Roads, and is just completely charming! I have written about it before now, but it's just come on the market and I thought I'd share some interior shots. 

From the real estate listing: 

Understated elegance, form and function sum up this architectural Guilford gem located a stone’s throw away from Guilford Gateway Park. Everything about this home is unique, from its glass enclosed vestibule

to the generous sized living room that flows on to a stunning sunroom,
to the gourmet eat-in kitchen with its high-end appliances, to the sumptuous dining room and the butler’s pantry equipped with its own dishwasher and beverage refrigerator. This home is an entertainer’s delight yet isn’t overwhelming.

Upstairs, the primary bedroom with its vaulted ceiling makes quite the statement and the other bedrooms are ample in size and well-spaced out.

Lastly, the club basement is a world unto itself with a billiards room, a retro bar and space for watching movies or just hanging out. This lovely home has hosted many luminaries in the past and has a history that is both rich and diverse.
In easy reach of the amenities of Charles Village, Hopkins Homewood campus, Union Memorial, the BMA, the Rotunda, and so much more. Guilford living at its best.

I love when real estate listings have floor plans because you get the understanding of how the house is laid out and the flow of it. Luckily, this one does.

I guarantee this house is not going to be on the market for long! If you're interested, here's the listing. And here is the piece I wrote for Baltimore Fishbowl.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

5212 Springlake Way

Palmer & Lamdin designed a number of houses along Springlake Way in Homeland, including numbers 5202, 5204, 5206, 5209, 5211, 5212, 5214 and 5222. I just discovered pictures of the interior of 5212, which last sold in 2019. 

From the realtor's website:

Tour this architecturally exquisite four bedroom, five and one half bath all stone colonial with two car garage, supremely sited on a double lot overlooking the lakes of Homeland. Just some of the features of this elegant home include random width oak floors, extensive mill work and three fireplaces.

Spacious updated kitchen with new stainless appliances and counters, beautiful living room with French doors to a sun-filled solarium.
Gorgeous family room with beamed ceilings, mahogany walls and wet bar. The master suite boasts a custom dressing room and luxurious bath.
Expansive and professionally landscaped grounds, extensive hardscape and patio -New HVAC - Quintessential Homeland

Homeland is full of beautiful Palmer & Lamdin houses. Take a walk through the neighborhood and see how many you can spot!


Friday, October 29, 2021

Lamdin's Thoughts on the "Tower House"

Yesterday, I wrote about having a tour of one of three adjacent houses that William Lamdin designed on the west side of Springlake Way in Homeland. 

In June of 1930, there was a re-print in Roland Park Homes, Gardens & People, of an article Lamdin had written for the Baltimore Sun, "Building Individuality into Houses: Result Achieved Through Co-operation with Owner and Designer." 

(Click to enlarge)

And in May of 1932, there was another article in RPHGP which called it the Tower House, and included floor plans. 
One thing that's not entirely clear here is the various levels in this house, although you can see how many small staircases there are, or the wonderful high, beamed ceilings. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

P&L Tour with a New Friend & a House Tour

Sometime last year, I got an email from an architect in North Carolina who said that he lived adjacent to the Biltmore Forest Country Club in Asheville. Greg was very interested in Palmer & Lamdin's designs, and expressed an interest in coming to Baltimore to see their houses. But then everything shut down.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I got another email letting me know Greg would be in Baltimore and wanting to know if I could draw him a map of P&L houses in Roland Park, Guilford and Homeland. I did him one better and offered to take him on a tour of the three neighborhoods. In all honesty, a tour was going to be the easier of the two options, because if you know me, I am bone lazy!

I plotted out a route and after meeting for a coffee at the local Starbucks, we hopped in the car and were on our way. It was a beautiful fall Saturday and everything looked its best. As we wound through the hilly streets of Roland Park, I pointed out the Swiss Chalet that Palmer designed for himself,

the wonderful Edgevale Park, the stately Roland Park Apartments, along with a number of private homes.
From there, we headed into Guilford to see some of the grand houses in P&L's portfolio, stopping every few blocks so that Greg could hop out and take pictures of particular favorites.
Of course the beautiful houses along Greenway and Charlcote Place were highlights, as well as some of the lesser known ones, including ones on Wendover and St. Martin's Roads.

Time was running short, as Greg still had a few hours drive ahead of him, and so we hopped up to Homeland. We were interested in seeing whether we could pick out which was the house that Lamdin designed for himself in the Norman manner. (In order to get some good pictures of the house, I will have to wait until the leaves are off the foliage!)

Luckily, as Greg went up to take some pictures, the homeowner of the adjacent house, the middle of three Lamdin-designed houses in a row, came out. After chatting for a few minutes, (and them realizing while were were stalkers, we weren't creepy stalkers!) we were invited in to see their house! You can see the middle house (below) here, and the right-side house, which I wrote about here. Lamdin's house hasn't been on the market since the 1990's, so there are no interior images. 

The owners took great pride in pointing out some of the original details of the house, including hand-hewn and wood-pegged beamed ceilings,

the signature mix of stone and brick,
quirky staircases, and much more. 

These three houses are distinguished by the way they are set into the landscape. In a 1930 article in the Baltimore Sun, Lamdin talks about the way he designed these three houses, concentrating on the middle one. "The long, narrow lot limited the width of the house to 43 feet. The ground sloped from the lane in the back to the street, dropping 30 feet." 

Because of the slope, the garages had to be incorporated into the second floor of these houses, quite unusual. In order not to leave the garage hanging out in space, Lamdin placed the kitchen and a maid's room below. 

And that also made space for a cozy terrace.
The house, like many of their designs, is on several levels, with a large living room on the second floor. In the article, Lamdin says that the original homeowner complained about the levels, and Lamdin snaps back that the owner should not have bought a property on a cliff. 
It was such an interesting house and we were so lucky to have the opportunity to see the interior of it, and for the owners' generous hospitality. 

And my thanks to Greg to spurring me to do a tour. It was such fun and I am delighted to have made a new friend who loves Palmer & Lamdin as much as I do. (One more photo of Lamdin's former house. Check out the dovecote on top of the Norman-style roof!)

P.S. A funny story... in the last five minutes of us having spent four hours together, talking non-stop, we discovered that Greg's husband had worked for one of my closest friends in NYC!