535 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills, MD 21117
Stucco house with slate roof, copper gutters, circa 1951, extended and luxuriously renovated in 2001. 6,312 sq. ft. over four levels, with 5 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half baths, 5 fireplaces, 29′ gourmet kitchen and pantry, 34’ family room with chestnut floor and antique beams, master suite with double dressing room/closets, au pair suite, dual offices, library. Swimming pool, 90’ stone patio, screened porch, courtyard with five car garage, extensive deer fencing, 21 acres with stream, trails: $2,400,000
What: Built in 1951 by Baltimore architect Charles Ness for the Baltimore banker and horse breeder Hugh O’Donovan, this house made its leap into the luxury home category in a no-expense-spared 2001 renovation. Current owners Maris and Bill Baker, with two boys and four dogs, bought it in 2006. “It was too good to pass up. A former owner had done everything, beautifully. Later on he told us he lost $700,000 on the sale, with what he put into it – which included 56 custom mahogany doors …” The high-end detail is impressive in itself, but it’s the way it was incorporated into the original house that preserves the character and keeps the charm. At every turn there is a noteworthy detail. The roof slates are laid in a European-style graduated pattern, largest slates on the bottom because they get harder wear. The stone patio is sited to take advantage of not just the rear views of lawn and woods, but side views of the pool, to keep an eye on children. Closet doors are all louvered – for air flow. Repurposed chestnut floors and beams in family room are stunning. Most of the property is fenced, so children and dogs can roam safely. Kitchen has Viking range and hood, granite counters, Subzero fridges, plus cool specialized faucet for filling spaghetti pots. The deer fencing alone is worth its weight in gold. Woodland has been cleared of briars and poison ivy. Inside, the house feels informal, partly because there is no grand entrance hall and partly because it rambles a bit, as a farmhouse will. Bedrooms upstairs, all with modern baths, big showers. Totally finished basement. Totally finished everything.
Where: Reisterstown Road to Craddock Lane, third left to Garrison Forest Road. A mile or so past the Garrison Forest School, 535 is on the right, directly across from St. Thomas Episcopal Church. While the house feels rural and private (no road noise) you are just minutes from the convenience of Reisterstown Road shopping, and just three miles from 695. Garrison Forest School is a mile down the road. Jemicy is a mile in the other direction. McDonogh School would be a 10-minute drive. It’s about 30 minutes to downtown, with no traffic.
Why: Good feng shui. House is on a gentle slope, open in the front with woods down the lawn at the back. The front has views up to the pretty St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Why Not: The layout is a little chopped up. It’s not your basic custom home.
Would Suit: Gerald OHara, father of Scarlett. “Why, land is the only thing worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts”…
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