Historic Former Power Plant Near Camp David

Share the News

Hot House: 5970 Cullen Drive, Sabillasville, Frederick County, MD 21780

Former power plant for the Maryland State Tuberculosis Sanatorium in the Catoctin Mountains. Architect-built in local stone, circa 1908, on 11.3 acres. 6,066 sq. ft., recently and completely renovated, with 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, two car garage, 12.5 foot ceilings, wall-mounted radiant heat, gourmet kitchen, media room, sunken garden: $999,500

What: An extraordinary property that once served as the power plant and laundry for a large tuberculosis hospital, providing coal fired power, heat and electricity for the facility, and served by its own railroad line (tracks still visible). Designed by the well-known Baltimore architecture firm of Wyatt & Nolting, who built the Baltimore City Courthouse as well as dozens of structures for the Roland Park Company, it is a palatial building in the Renaissance Revival style, with a row of Palladian windows across the front and stunning views down and across the mountains. Nicely renovated within the past few years, it would make an impressive summer retreat, inn, restaurant, winery or conference center. The house is designed with all the public rooms downstairs –where ceramic tile floors and high ceilings create a cool, breezy feeling –and all the bedrooms upstairs, where the original heart pine floors and some of the original claw footed tubs and wooden cupboards offer more atmosphere. The kitchen is gigantic but feels cozy, the dining room is merely gigantic. The basement offers another 6,000 sq. ft. of unfinished space – the former boiler room and coal room – with 15’ ceilings and a gravel floor. There are gas fireplaces, but no central air —  owner says ceiling fans do the job.

Where: Sabillasville is in the once-famous resort area of Pen Mar, in the Catoctin Mountains, within a mile of Camp David. This area was a summer retreat for many of Baltimore and Washington’s wealthy and powerful, prior to and following the turn of the century. Popular for its beautiful views and cooling breezes, it was served by the Western Maryland Railroad, which later merged with the B&O. The Appalachian Trail runs through here, and there is great hiking in the mountains. Otherwise, not much but you and the breezes. The nearest town to one-horse Sabillasville is Cascade, Maryland, tiny and picturesque. The nearest shopping, restaurants, hospital, etc. are eight miles down the mountain in Waynesboro, Pa.  It’s 90 minutes to either Baltimore or Washington, 20 minutes to the ski slopes at White Tail.


Why: Beautiful surroundings, with exciting possibility of spotting foreign dignitaries and celebrity visitors to Camp David – running into Christine Lagarde on the Appalachian Trail! Easy access to DC but far from prying eyes. Safest place in the country, as perimeter of Camp David is guarded by a special, elite unit of the United States Marine Corps.

 Why Not: When not hiking with dignitaries, the very rural lifestyle may not appeal to everyone.

 Would Suit: Doomsday preppers, Washington outliers.

 NB: Historic Power House was recently #5 in “Top Real Estate Deals of the Week” between Amy Winehouse’s London House (#4) and Miami Heat Pat Riley’s Malibu Beach House (#6).

Hot House is sponsored by American Land Title Corporation, commercial and residential settlement agents.



Share the News


  1. Can’t say I noticed the power plant then, but in the 50’s my Dad took us to visit our mother at the Cullen Center as she recuperated from exposure to TB.
    The renovations look spectacular, though!

Comments are closed.