Religious Conversion In Canton: New Condo In Old Church, $549K

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Hot House: 1000 S. Ellwood Avenue (Canton), Baltimore, MD 21224

One of four new town homes in the former Canton Methodist Episcopal Church, circa 1883, brick with slate roof, Gothic Revival style, designed by noted architect Charles L. Carson. Three bedrooms, four baths over 1,909 sq. ft. Open floor plan, original reclaimed wood, stained-glass detailing, vaulted ceiling, church windows. Hardwood floors throughout. Communal roof deck, zoned heat, central air, one-car garage parking: $549,000 (ask about CHAP tax credit)

Open House: Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 18-19, 1-3 p.m.

What: An answered prayer (sorry) for historic preservationists and an unusually cool option for buyers in Canton, where the housing stock tends to outwardly plain row homes designed for blue-collar employees of the once-powerful Canton Company.  The Canton Company was founded in 1828, which coincided with the founding of the B&O railroad, as Canton was changing from an agrarian and seafaring economy to the industrial powerhouse it was to become. The combination of ports and rails attracted such large numbers of workers and skilled craftsmen to the area that the Canton Company purchased and built acres of workman housing along the waterfront. Eventually, it was decided that these workers and their families needed a church.

This building was the second location of the Canton Methodist Episcopal Church, the first having been lost to a fire. It was designed in 1883 by Charles L. Carson, who was the supervising architect of Stanford White’s Lovely Lane Methodist Episcopal Church, as well as Goucher Hall at Goucher College, the Masonic Temple on Charles Street, several branches of the Enoch Pratt Library and parts of Evergreen House (the bathroom), among many other notable Baltimore buildings. In 2006, after 120 years,  the congregation voted to discontinue the church, and it stood empty until its recent renovation by the F.M. Harvey Construction Company in Hunt Valley, the owner and builder of the project. The redesign consists of four separate units, each with their own entrance, and no central stairwell. Each one is unique, and all are bright and airy, with the high ceilings and tall windows that make church renovations the most desirable of all residential repurposing projects.

Where:  The corner of S. Ellwood Avenue and Dillon Street in Canton. This unit, the largest and most expensive of the townhouses, has the main church entrance at 1000 S. Ellwood Avenue. The other three units each have their own doors and addresses around the side of the church on Dillon Street. Either way, it is a great downtown location — just around the corner from O’Donnell Square, a weekend destination for its party scene. It’s a short walk to Harris Teeter and Target, as well as the waterfront park, DePasquales Italian Market on Gough Street and the Blue Hill Tavern.

Would Suit: Urban down-sizers, young artistic professionals.

Why: Distinctive. Mindy from marketing can brag about her new kitchen, but you live in a church.

Why Not: People looking for ancestral graves or potluck suppers.

NB: Initially listed as condominiums, these homes are in review and may end up being classified as independent residences.