824 Park Avenue, Mount Vernon, Baltimore

Hot House:  The antique and the modern combine in this updated townhouse. Four bedrooms/three and a half bathrooms. 4200 square feet. Asking price: $995k

What: Do you want to live in a historic city townhouse, but not wild about dark wood and old architecture? This house, built in 1860, has been completely modernized with a sympathetic eye towards leaving its splendid bones intact while modernizing the space, proving that the old and new can live in harmony. There is enough exposed brick to make it interesting, but not so much that it’s overwhelming. Five of the original fireplaces remain in the house, and additional historic details have been preserved.

The light-filled gourmet kitchen has Wolf and KitchenAid appliances in stainless steel, natural stone countertops, stainless steel sinks, an oversized kitchen island and a back- and knee-friendly cork floor. Like many renovated houses in London, the back of the house has loads of huge glass windows to bring the outside in. Move from the kitchen and double-height breakfast room to the enclosed rear garden, level yard and parking pad, making it easy to entertain friends (when the time comes).

Much considered thought has been given to the primary suite with a marble fireplace, ample closets, and an en suite beautiful tiled bath with Phillipe Starck cabinets below two vanities, a deep luxurious bathtub, heated floor and shower room. There is also a cozy family room on this level.

The top floor contains additional bedrooms and baths, as well as a laundry room. Because this house is the end of the group, all of the rooms are full of light, something that’s at a premium in old row houses. Once again, there is some exposed brick to pique your interest over plain plastered walls. All of the levels are connected by the original curved staircase which sweeps up through the house.

Where: Park Avenue is one of the main streets in Mount Vernon. Leading from downtown, up along the west side of Mount Vernon, Park is home to some of the most beautiful town-houses in Baltimore. It’s just a five-minute walk to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Maryland Center for History & Culture (formerly the Maryland Historical Society), the Walters Art Museum, the shops and bars along Read Street; and everything on Charles Street. 

Final Appraisal: Thanks to careful renovation, this townhouse offers modern convenience with historic details, and it’s in one of the best neighborhoods in the city. Space, parking, modern elements and a historic neighborhood might just be the winning combination. The listing for the house is here. 

Meg Fielding writes the local interior design and lifestyle blog Pigtown Design and is the past president of the Baltimore Architectural Foundation. She enjoys dual citizenship with the US and the UK.