Hot House: 6101 Gentry Lane, Baltimore County, MD 21210
9.8 private acres of wooded land in Lakehurst (adjacent to Woodbrook). Gently sloped and beautifully sited, it was once the site of a small private farm belonging to the Knott family. Two ponds, old orchard, with brick chicken coop and outbuildings. Midcentury house, circa 1952, in poor condition, tenant occupied, possible teardown. Unique setting. Land trust property, no developers: $1,499,000
What: The best-kept real estate secret in Baltimore. In 1952, as Henry Knott Sr. was amassing the construction fortune that would eventually become the Knott Foundation, he moved his wife and twelve children from their home on Greenway in Guilford to this small farm, just over the city line into Baltimore County. He built a house that was a hallmark of its era, an Alexander Cochran-inspired, sprawling, modernist home out of redwood and glass. There were the children, the sheep, a sheep-shearing house, a brick chicken coop, ponds and an orchard. A swimming pool in the front yard (now filled-in) attracted friends from all over north Baltimore. “It was kind of a community center,” says one neighbor. Today, it is hard to picture the splendor that once was. The fields are overgrown, and the house has not aged well. It is occupied by a tenant and the listing describes it as “in need of removal.” Ditto some of the outbuildings. But for a buyer of imagination (and plenty of cash) it could be a paradise once again. The property is held in a Land Trust belonging to the Ruxton-Riverwood-Lake Roland Association. It cannot be developed, and if a new home is built, it must be built on either the current house location, or on a specifically-sited parcel a little further down the hill. That said, it is the optimal site for a dream house. Its ten wooded acres are magnificent, sloping down to a stream, with glimpses of the Tyrconnell estate and the golf course of the Elkridge Club visible in winter. The land is the story here, and the ideal buyer is someone with a vision, not necessarily of a mansion, but of a quiet green belt just at the edge of the city –with orchards and gardens where animals (and children) could roam.
Where: A fantastic location. Baltimore County taxes and services. Access from Lake Avenue down to Falls Road and I-83, as well as a right-of-way for a driveway over to Woodbrook and Charles Street. Minutes to downtown Baltimore, minutes to Towson, walk to Lake Roland.
Would Suit: Deep-pocketed, city-loving buyer, who nevertheless dreams of a small, perfect “gentleman’s farm.”
Why: Estate style living, in town.
Why Knott: It’s a big project.
NB: Llamas, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, cattle, chickens, ducks, geese, bees — all allowed in Baltimore County, at last check.