Hot House: 4608 Roland Avenue, Baltimore MD 21210
Colonial center hall style wood-shingle house, circa 1891, with slate roof and two-story carriage house. Six bedrooms, 9.5 baths over 7,153 sq. ft. Complete high-end renovation in 2012. Entry hall, large living and dining rooms, library, sun room, gourmet kitchen with custom cabinetry, mahogany and granite island, breakfast bar, wine beverage cooler, warming drawer, dishwasher with extra drawers, many custom built-ins. Master bedroom w/en suite bath, soaking tub, separate shower, walk-in closets. Large, lower level rec room. Two wood burning and two gas fireplaces, 9′ ceilings, hardwood floors throughout, central a/c, security system. Half-acre landscaped lot with brick patio, parking for two cars: $1,295,000.
What: Originally named “the Poplars,” and later “the Roland Park Country School,” this house could now be accurately called “The House of Many Bathrooms.” It underwent a stunning renovation a few years ago when it was owned by Kehar Singh, one of the two brothers who own the popular Ambassador and Ananda restaurants. After a complete, no-expense-spared treatment, it went from a modest four-bathroom house to an impressive ten loo establishment — which is nothing by California standards, but awe-inspiring in Roland Park where there are still houses with claw-footed tubs and not a single shower (“who needs it?”). Here, every bathroom is new (see website) — some are super luxe, some merely luxe — and the house itself feels freshly minted. Which is not to say it has lost its character. On the contrary, it seems to have acquired more personality during the renovation than it had in the decades before. According to neighbors, the house had a few hard years back when it was owned by Walter Herman, who “after his wife died was taken advantage of by some questionable characters, who ended up doing various unsavory things from there.” What exactly, you will need to find out yourself. In another aside, Herman’s daughter is the internationally known artist, Christine Herman Merrill, who did not live in Baltimore at the time.
Where: The quiet end of Roland Avenue, one block east of Goodwood Gardens, just up from the Roland Park shopping center. Walk north to Petit Louis and Johnny’s, the library, Eddie’s, and schools — or south to Miss Shirley’s, Evergreen Cafe and Roland Park Bagel Company. Cold Spring Lane takes you right out to I-83 in a matter of minutes.
Why: Luxury interiors like this are rare in Roland Park. Carriage house/studio/guest house is picture perfect.
Why Not: No garage.
Would Suit: Buyer looking to upsize in the city, who likes a good house story.
NB: The Roland Park Country School, est. 1900, was sponsored by the Roland Park Company, which needed a school to attract buyers to its new development, Roland Park.