Hot House: 8 E. Madison Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Federal style detached brick townhouse, circa 1845, with rear carriage house and separate apartment (both with tenants).  Three bedrooms, three and a half baths over three stories and 6,120 sq. ft. All in fair condition and needing work. Entrance hall with tile floors, large dining room with butler’s pantry and office, elliptical staircase, living room with gas fireplace, kitchen. Second-floor library, en suite master bedroom, and bath. Third floor with two beds, two full baths.  Three story elevator, central a/c (partial). Rear garden with fountain and koi pond: $975,000

Open House: Wednesday, 12-3PM 

What: George Howard was the second son of John Eager Howard and Governor of Maryland from 1831- 1833. This was his house, designated a landmark in 1998 by the Commission of Historic Architectural Preservation (CHAP), which presumably will throw in some money to help with the renovations. The photos here do not do it justice, so if you are in the market, try to attend the Open House on Wednesday, May 1.

Set back from the street behind a beautiful (original) wrought iron gate, 8 E. Madison Street has one of the most inviting facades of any of the great historic Baltimore townhomes. A large magnolia tree partially screens the entrance, and there are gardens in front and rear. A lovely carriage house at the back, covered in climbing roses and renovated by architect Walter Schamu, currently has a tenant. There is another apartment with a tenant at the rear of the main house. Together, the rental income is approximately $3,000 per month.

Lived in for many years by social activists and popular Mt. Vernon couple Stanley Mazer and Marianne Githens — who hosted many memorable dinner parties in the grand dining room — the house has an eclectic, bohemian air. A new owner, with a different aesthetic, will be helped by its carved moldings, original Georgia pine floors and lots of sun, which cheers things up.

Where: Madison Street is apparently far more glamorous now than in 1833 when it was named for former President James Madison. After a tour of his namesake street, Madison jokingly remarked: “It is not much of an honor to have a street named for you that starts at a charity school, runs past a poorhouse and ends at the penitentiary.” 8 E. Madison Street is at the corner of Lovegrove Street —  in these days, a prime Mt. Vernon location — a short walk to the Peabody Music Conservatory and Walters Art Museum as well as Mt. Vernon’s many popular restaurants, coffee shops, and bars.

Why: Chance to live in the Governor’s Mansion — who could resist? Plus, in Georgetown, it would be five times the price.

Why Not: The usual renovation headaches.

Would Suit: Sophisticated, history-loving urbanites.

NB: Listing says that house “does not have multi-family license” and “rental registration has not been completed.” Seems odd for a place with two rental units.