Hot House: 4001 Greenway, Baltimore MD 21218


Grand Tudor Revival style house designed by Edward Palmer. Brick with slate roof, circa 1917. 9,931 square feet over four finished levels. More than 7 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half baths, 7 fireplaces. All original architectural detail including fine mahogany millwork and inlaid floors. Nine-foot beamed ceilings, casement windows, French doors. Entrance hall, formal living and dining room, sunroom, library, family room. Gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry. Two master bedrooms, ensuite, walk-in closets, sep soaking tub, glass shower. Further bedrooms. Central a/c, landscaped 1.4 acre grounds with detached garage: $2,450,000

What: The foundation house of Guilford. This property in north Baltimore was once a 300-acre spread, confiscated from British land-owners and given to American General William McDonald — who served nobly in both the War of Independence as well as the War of 1812. McDonald named the property Guilford after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina where he had been severely injured. In 1852, McDonald’s son Billy inherited the property and built the estate house pictured below, which was considered to be among the finest in the country.


The entrances were guarded by imposing stone gates, with lions copied from those at the Louvre. The house was a 52-room Italianate marvel. Its wood-over-masonry construction was crowned by a towering turret, with a main center hall as wide as the driveway and paved in marble. McDonald kept race horses in luxurious stables here, and occasionally rode them through the house. It was fun while it lasted, but Billy lived to be just 34, and in 1872 Guilford was purchased from his heirs by Baltimore Sun founder A.S. Abell, who lived there for many years.

In 1907, the Abell heirs sold the house and 296 acres to the Guilford Park Company for $1 million — the plan being a “speculative land development following the best modern city land practices.” Due to lack of financing, the Guilford Park Company sold out in 1911 to the larger, 800-acre Roland Park Company. In 1915, the Abell house was torn down after being uninhabited for many years.

4001 Greenway stands on the site of the Guilford mansion. It was built in 1917, an Edward Palmer design for wealthy businessman Corbin Braxton Dallam.


Where: At the corner of Wendover and Greenway, off of Charles Street. Sherwood Gardens is steps away. Calvert School is very close. You can be downtown in 10 minutes via Charles Street. There is lots of destination walking possible from here: Waverly Market, Charles Village, Johns Hopkins University, Wyman Park. Guilford is a beautifully maintained neighborhood with tall trees and sociable neighbors.

 Why: To build a house of this quality today would cost ten times the amount.

 Why Not: Too much house.

Would Suit: Socialites.

NB: There’s a $108/mo. fee to the Guilford Homeowners Association. Probably not a deal breaker, but worth mentioning. Property taxes are $29,774.