Hot House: 1703 Lancaster Street, Fells Point, Baltimore, 21231
Federal style three story brick townhouse, circa 1845, renovated in 1990s. Two bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1,185 sq. ft., with hardwood flooring (main floor), carpeting upstairs, unfinished basement, central a/c: $249,999
What: Aside from its political provenance –William Donald Schaefer owned it, used it as his comptroller-campaign headquarters, and occasionally slept in it from 1996 to 2008 — this house is a find, with a great location and a low price for perennially popular Fells Point. Pretty from the outside, the interior is clean, systems are new, but it could use some decorating. There’s a decent size front room with a window on the street. A staircase that’s wide enough (many Fells Point townhouses have such narrow stairs that moving is problematic), but could be better positioned. Kitchen is functional but hardly worth describing. A tiny door in the kitchen leads to a private passage to the street — useful for storing bicycles. Upstairs, a good size bedroom and a bathroom. Third floor, a small bedroom and a small extra room that could be a full bath. Then you could have a roomate or rent the top floor. Basement is good for storage, but too low to stand in upright. The house has potential to be a gem, depending on how much imagination and money you want to put into it. Sort of the Baltimore version of the Kennedy’s Georgetown townhouse…
Where: Right next to Jimmie’s, the breakfast place where politicians once, and may still, schmooze. Apparently William Donald had breakfast at Jimmie’s every day during campaign season. There is a lot of street traffic here, and lots of bar action, but you knew that. It’s also convenient to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Between the water taxi, the Circulator Bus and Zip Car, you could easily manage to live here without a car.
Would Suit: Social historian.
Why Not: Window peering and endless questions from passersby. “Sorry to bother you, but is this the house that…?”
Why: Endless fun making up stories for passersby (see above). “So, my uncle William Donald Schaefer and I used to skinny dip right over there”…
NB: Street parking only. Which is impossible in Fells Point, so you’ll have to figure that out.
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