Hot House: 7300 Brightside Road, Baltimore, MD 21212
English Cotswold-style manor house, circa 1925, in stone with slate roof, copper gutters, and trim. Multiple terraces, swimming pool, gardens, pond, guest quarters and badminton barn, all in fair condition, needing work. Ten-plus bedrooms, nine baths over three stories and 12,692 sq. ft. Entry foyer with 10′ ceilings, through-vista to gardens, well-proportioned rooms, hardwood floors, seven fireplaces, large windows and French doors with views over conservation land. Idyllic 3.72-acre property with a two-car garage, extensive hardscaping, and mature trees: $2,400,000
What: In 1924, a notice in the Baltimore Sun announced the building of “two large residences on Bellona Avenue” to the tune of $150,000 – one for F. Barton Harvey, the founder of a Baltimore insurance firm, and another for his mother-in-law, Mrs. Robert Dixon Hopkins. This is the larger and grander stone house, where the F. Barton Harveys would raise seven children, many of whom would go on to be leading figures of Baltimore in the 20th century. One of the sons, Judge Alexander Harvey II, would raise his own family here.
The house was designed by Boston architecture firm Parker, Thomas and Rice — who also designed Baltimore’s Alex. Brown building, Belvedere Hotel, Gilman School and Johns Hopkins Homewood campus (so, no slouches). It’s an aristocratic spread, and everything was done top-of-the-line: hardwood floors, casement windows, archways, crown moldings, built-ins, deep window sills, big linen closets –- perfect for a century of family games and gatherings, weddings and celebrations, and certainly among the most admired of Baltimore homes.
Now, it needs attention. From the old swimming pool in the terraced “wedding garden” to the wiring in the badminton/basketball barn, things have been maintained – but not updated. On the upside, you can reconfigure and renovate guilt-free, confident that your efforts will be rewarded. A house like this gives more than it takes.
Where: Brightside Road runs south off Bellona Avenue in the Woodbrook neighborhood of Baltimore County, curving around and ending at Lake Roland Park. It’s a fine location, just over the Baltimore City line, nestled between Roland Park and Ruxton. Residents keep close track of the eagles that nest above the lake. This property backs onto the land and gardens of Tyrconnell, just visible through the woods. It’s about a 20-minute drive to downtown Baltimore from here via Charles Street, about 10 minutes to Roland Park schools. Graul’s and Eddie’s supermarkets, each about a three-minute drive, are neighborhood favorites.
Why: Love at first sight. Looking for a project. Anglophiles.
Why Not: No swimming in the pond due to snapping turtle occupant.
Would Suit: Active family with dynastic ambitions and some dosh, ready to take the reins for another century.
NB: If your kids get one look at the badminton barn, let alone the fishing pond — there will be no going back. You will have to buy the house.
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