200 E. Montgomery Street.
Hot House: Historic house with modern interior, overlooking the Inner Harbor. 4 bedrooms/4 bathrooms. 4,200 square feet. Asking price: $949,400
What: If you want a historic home, but your partner loves modern architecture, this house on the corner of Montgomery and William Streets in Federal Hill is the perfect compromise, plus it is one of the best locations in the city! A full 30 feet wide, this house is actually two houses converted into one, with the smaller being the “Tiniest House in Baltimore” which measures a scant nine feet wide. (Disclosure: my first house was 9.5’ wide!)
The interior of this house has been fully gutted and redone in a very modernist style, belying the exterior of the house which retains its historic façade. Some of the original features, including heart pine floors, old wood doors and hardware, foyer tiles and other details remain, but they are balanced by an industrial vibe with exposed ducts, steel stairs and walkways, and custom cable railings, all of which serve to open the house up and fill it with light.
The living room features a wood-burning stove, backed by corrugated steel, a bar with a 50 million year old fossilized fish bar-top, and lit by a modernist chandelier. The kitchen is top of the line with Sub-Zero, Thermador, Dacor and Bosch appliances, granite counters, subway tiles, and loads of light. The double-height dining room is connected to the kitchen both indoors and via an outdoor Trex deck, which expands your entertaining space in the warm weather.
The first floor also contains the first of two primary suites, which has a sitting area in a bay window, built-in bookshelves, a pivoting door to the hall and a massive walk-in closet, which is 24-feet long!
The lower level has three bedrooms, a full bath and a storage area, but it also has the possibility to be made into a garage/parking area, which is a huge bonus in a neighborhood where parking is at a premium.
The upper level consists of a second primary suite (the first on the first floor) with a walk-in closet, en-suite bath, wall of windows with an unobstructed view across the harbor!
Where: This is one of the best locations in the city, perfect for spending hours looking out over the Inner Harbor, watching fireworks, waiting for the tall ships to arrive and entertaining friends. It’s within easy walking distance to the nightlife on Light, Charles and Cross Streets, or climbing the steps to the top of Federal Hill. Federal Hill Elementary gets high marks as a very active school. It’s just a short zip along Key Highway to Harris Teeter or to get on I-95.
Final Appraisal: This house is a compromise between historic and modern, being fully neither of the two. It’s probably not a place for a family with small children due to the open staircase situation. It is a stunning modernization with so many high-end amenities, and is turn-key, move-in ready. The listing for the house is here.