Hot House: 4023 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, 21211
Farmhouse style Victorian, circa 1920 (probably older), with wrap-around porch. Formerly the Elmhurst Nursery School. Wood frame on stone foundation. Recent high-end renovation, with new cedar shakes, new shingle roof w/copper trimmed interior gutters, new heat system, new central a/c, new gas heat, new sewer line. Four bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3,000 sq. ft. over four levels with unfinished cellar. Hardwood floors throughout, family room with wood burning fireplace, retro kitchen, original architectural details, .4 acre lot: $445,000
What: A labor of love. If you really want to get a sense of this house, leave this page for a minute and hop over to the Weebly website created by the house’s owner, which has great photos and details of the renovation. He tells about going to nursery school at Elmhurst when it was over in Roland Park, his affectionate memories of his time there and how he bought it from his former teacher Miss Dukes, now Mrs. Pine. There are carved cherubs at the peak of the roof, a sweet detail that kind of captures the spirit of the place. What he doesn’t tell is the full extent and quality of the restoration, his awe at the integrity of the old house (2 in.-thick joists of the “hardest pine you could imagine — I could barely get a drill through them”) and his deliberate choices to redo all the bathrooms (whew) and create a master bedroom suite, but leave the old kitchen because he loves it and hopes a buyer will see its wacky appeal. It’s a good story, and a fine house.
Where: On Roland Avenue, just north of West 41st Street in Hampden. Roland Park Liquors is right across the street, run by some young guys who know their artisanal bourbons. Next door is Vogue Revisited, a cool consignment shop that draws from far and near. It’s a real neighborhood here — the locals call it Rolden — and you’ll have plenty of like minds, some of whom will have gone to nursery school in your house. It’s an easy walk to the new Rotunda, where an organic grocery, a cineplex and shopping are coming soon — not to mention Johns Hopkins’ Space Telescope Institute. Nearby are Wyman Park, Stony Run, Johns Hopkins University, shops, restaurants on Cold Spring Lane and The Avenue (36th Street). Roland Park Elementary and Roland Park Middle are your public schools, and there are many local private schools.
Would Suit: The Darling family, from Peter Pan. Or set designers from Boardwalk Empire.
Why: City house with country feel and charm. All the expensive work has been done, and done well.
Why Not: Roland Park Place rises not-so-gracefully behind the house.
NB: Dan Rodricks refers to this house — its new shingles and “fine workmanship” in his August column ‘Dancing The Patapsco Tango’.