1,600 Sq. Ft. Cottage In Roland Park: A Renovation Opportunity

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Hot House: 216 Oakdale Road, Baltimore, MD 21210


Stone and shingle, English style cottage, circa 1894, in need of full renovation. Three bedrooms, two baths over 1,588 sq. ft. Semi-circular stone front porch, 50-year architectural shingle roof, unfinished full basement, and attic. Hardwood floors throughout, living room with fireplace and French doors to sunroom, separate dining room, kitchen. Extra room on second floor with potential for master bath or office. Landscaped front garden with stone walkway. Flat, sunny backyard with driveway and garage foundation: $335,000


What: A small house in Roland Park is a hot commodity these days, and there were a lot of interested parties at the open house on Sunday. It’s had a recent electrical updating, there’s new HVAC and central air, and the roof and ceilings are good. Otherwise, this house is a completely blank slate, and a buyer will be doing some demolition and starting from scratch. The house has had only two owners in the past century, and it was owned for most of that time by Alice Davis, who moved here with her husband in the late 1940s. They raised four children here, with their in-laws living across the street. The children went to the Roland Park Public School — still a highly ranked public school within easy walking distance. The house used to have a two-car garage. It was demolished years ago, but the foundation is there, under the grass, and you could build on top of it. Mrs. Davis is a Master Gardener, and the front garden shows her touch. At 93, she was “too tired to finish the back.”

oakdale:front hall


Where: 216 Oakdale Road lies a few blocks south of Wyndhurst Station, between Roland Avenue and the Stony Run trail. Walk to Eddie’s, all local schools, Petit Louis and Johnny’s restaurants, the Roland Park library, banks, post office, churches, synagogue. Also the Roland Park Pool, which is open to all Roland Park residents.

Why: Nice neighbors. And … small house means smaller costs, more free time – you could paint a room in a day.

Why Not: Still, several months of work on the front end.

Would Suit: Buyer looking for a charm on a budget.

NB: Assume about $100K in renovation costs.


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  1. This home doesn’t require demolition- it requires restoration! It is an incredibly rare intact historic home, with original kitchen cupboards, built-in closets, original windows, and numerous historic details. All of these features should be restored. The layout is wonderful as is, and most of the plaster walls can simply be repaired instead of replaced. Calling this home a “blank slate” is not quite fair. This is a diamond that needs to be polished back to its original splendor.

  2. This is a lovely house, but it needs a gentle restoration, not a renovation. The fact that it is so original is very, very rare. To lose that to a run of the mill, “Anywhere U.S.A.” renovation would be a shame. Even more of a shame would be for the house to be lost all together. Someone who is restoration savvy and understand the heart and soul of this house needs to become it’s next Steward. Hopefully this house will survive for another century with its historic identity intact.

  3. Yes to both Chris and Karla, thank you reminding me that ‘demo’ is not always the best approach. I was referring mainly to the kitchen and bathrooms when I said ‘demo’. As Chris points out, calling it a “blank slate” is not fair — there is a lot to recommend it as-is, especially in terms of character.

    • Hi Cynthia,
      I appreciate your comment and clarification about the use of the word “demo.” I would like to tease your curiosity quotient…. It is extremely rare for an original or early kitchen to survive the wave of serial remodeling. But these early kitchens hold history and charm that is lost when they are demolished.

      It is possible to sensitively incorporate modern amenities into these historic kitchens, yet not lose the history and cultural memory they embody. However, it does require vision, sensitivity and a willingness to think outside the box. The reward for this extra effort can be extremely gratifying.

      One ends up with something special and unique that does not create cognitive dissonance with the rest of the historic home. It’s just another way of approaching historic houses that honors their story, while also accommodating modern needs.

    • I took a look at the kitchen in the Stone Hill House, and I love it! The vintage stove is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sending me the link for it.

      Yes, this is exactly the kind of unique approach to kitchens that really works best in many historic homes.

      Kudos to whomever took the road less traveled with Stone Hill home.

      Hopefully this will be the outcome for the Roland Park Cottage’s period kitchen, it has so much potential!

    • I agree! Fingers crossed the Roland Park kitchen (and rest of the house) remains intact. While I personally am on the vintage-appliance bandwagon myself, even if a buyer were to install modern appliances, you can keep the historic cabinets with a new stove/sink/fridge and maintain the integrity of the kitchen easily. You can also get new appliances that look old, which might be a compromise for the average modern homebuyer. All those cabinets need is a little TLC, sanding, and paint! The beadboard wainscot is also gorgeous and hopefully will be retained.

    • Yes, I totally agree with Nick. Free standing appliances are not part of the architecture, and could be anything that rang someone’s bells without negatively impacting the architecture. There are several lines of retro appliances: Heartland, Elmira, and Big Chill come to mind.

      For non-free standing appliances, such as dishwashers, fully integrated, panel ready models can allow a dishwasher to be completely hidden into the existing cabinetry. They can be fronted to look like a bank of drawers or a broom closet. So there are multiple creative approaches to saving historic kitchens, while integrating modern convenience.

  4. We’ve assumed stewardship for this amazing house and work every day on its restoration! On to its next century — we are restoring plaster walls, polishing brass hardware, refinishing hardwood floors. It will be a long journey and a wonderful adventure for our family.

    • Congratulations, it sounds like the house has found the right people!
      Send us an ‘after’ photo when you’re done …

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