Let’s play a game. Pretend you are the co-founder, former chair and CEO of one of Baltimore’s most successful investment firms. You are married to a Louisiana-bred beauty who is known for her grace and impeccable taste. Picture your house. Epic loveliness, right? Well, Chip and Rand Mason’s (yep, Legg Mason) Ruxton home is selling for $5.6 million and, if you’re doing imaginative visualization with me, it is not going to surprise you in the least.
The “venerable French inspired manse” is certainly both epic and lovely. Set on 12 acres on Ruxton’s most coveted street, Circle Road, the house has all the expected amenities: six bedrooms, grand foyer, pool, pavilion, tennis court and plenty of patios and terraces from which you can soak in the surrounding beauty. Mrs. Mason’s Louisiana roots are evident throughout the home. Notice the unmistakable French Quarter-style shutters and ironwork in the exterior shots. Makes me want a beignet. Oh who am I kidding, make it a Hurricane. The theme continues inside where the French furnishings are done up in a palette scooped right from a gelato shop. Tres jolie. The peach and mint living room is quintessential Southern prettiness but the real star of the show is the master bedroom. The curved wall of windows and the ridiculously sized “sitting area” make me woozy, and downright snoozy, with delight. I picture lounging on that green banquet, enjoying my tea, while planning a festive brunch menu (which I will pass to the caterers of course). Hey, a girl can dream.
Chip retired from Legg Mason in 2008 and one could assume that is the impetus for the move. He started Mason and Co. at the age of 25 and after merging with Legg and Co. in 1970, took the company public in 1974. His ride to success has included a deal with Citigroup which brought the company to a peak of $830 billion in asset management in 2005. No wonder the house is similarly generous. Mr. Mason also takes his civic duties seriously. He has chaired the Securities Industry Association, served as Emeritus trustee of Hopkins and on the boards of the BMA, United Way and National Aquarium just to name a few. Perhaps the guy is just tired of mowing that 12-acre lawn–kidding, kidding! Rumor has it that the couple spends most of their time in Florida these days and are looking downtown for their next Baltimore pad. With his resources and her discerning eye, it’s sure to be a showstopper.