Hot House: 6516 Montrose Avenue, Ruxton, Baltimore County, MD 21212
English Tudor-style house, circa 1926, in stone and stucco with slate roof, terraced gardens, and saltwater pool. Four bedrooms, six baths over three levels and 4,189 sq. ft. Living room, dining room, open-plan family room with fireplace and French doors to terrace, gourmet kitchen with soapstone counters, Sub-Zero fridge, breakfast bar/wet bar with wine fridge. Master bedroom with garden views, his and her bath and dressing rooms. Private bedroom apartment. Finished lower level. Energy efficient home. Multi-zone heat and central air, two-car attached garage, irrigation system, salt water pool, on 1.2 landscaped acres with exceptional plantings: $2,245,000
What: It’s always interesting to see what an architect does with his own house. 6516 Montrose is the home of Adam and Fredye Gross. He is a principal architect at Ayers Saint Gross, Baltimore’s leading architectural firm and designers of the much-admired visitors’ center at Monticello. His modern addition to this quintessentially English style home is both bold and seamless — wrapping its Tudor core with a horseshoe-shaped addition — lifting the roof and sending in the sun. The house is light and bright. Doors and windows the length of the house draw you out to the back garden. Old trees stand majestically in the distance, interesting plantings fill the beds and hug the stonework (done decades ago by master stonemason Primo Doria). The pool and its bluestone surround stand slightly off to the side, giving precedence to the garden.
The house has been well loved and lived in. It has been updated but not “renovated for the millennial buyer.” If it’s at all your thing, however, ten minutes on the terrace will convince you…
Where: Montrose Avenue is a coveted Ruxton address, a wide street with big houses on acre+ lots. It’s quietly situated at the end of Pratt Street, which is just off Bellona Avenue and borders Woodbrook. Secluded but less than five minutes from Eddie’s on Charles Street. Nice for walking.
Why: The way the garden frames the house.
Why Not: Allergic to pollen.
Would Suit: Constant gardener.
NB: The bones of the gardens were designed by noted landscape designer Hammond Brandt, who was such a gentleman that he wore a necktie even while digging up trees, according to his obit in the Baltimore Sun. Foxborough Nursery has continued his work.