Hot House: 3534 Hickory Avenue, Hampden, Baltimore, MD 21211
Brick and stucco townhouse, circa 1900, with front porch and large arched entrance. Four bedrooms, 1 bath over 1,200 sq. ft. Full, partially finished basement. Open plan first floor, kitchen with new granite counters, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors throughout. Bedrooms and bath upstairs. Central a/c. Landscaped private fenced back yard with patio, 2-car parking in driveway: $249,900
What: A house that conveys instant prestige on its owners. Otherwise unremarkable, although nicely rehabbed, this row house in Hampden has an extremely grand and slightly mysterious archway that leads…um, nowhere. Nevertheless, it looks as if advancing European armies may have once marched through, having conquered Hampden and heading for the Jones Falls. Dated 1921 — so later than the house — the archway’s real purpose is unclear. A sensible guess is that it was the entrance to a livery yard, or pasture behind the house, perhaps used by businesses requiring horse and cart deliveries. Anyway, whatever it was, the arch comes with the house, so you will actually own it. You’ll be “the Arch house.” Inside, everything is spruced up and new-feeling. The rooms are not large, but you have a big advantage in the good-sized, flat backyard. Expanding the kitchen someday, or adding a first floor bathroom will be much easier because you can bump out the back and still have plenty of outdoor space. The bathroom upstairs is nice and new, but it is the only one in the house. Bedrooms upstairs all have a window — a kid especially might like living over the arch.
Where: Just south of the Avenue on Hickory. (Grano pasta bar is on the corner, True Vine Records a few doors away). There is a house on the corner running to seed, but otherwise this looks like a well-kept and solid block. The Avenue is bustling and Christmas lights are already going up. Nearby schools are Hampden Elementary, Medfield and St. Thomas Aquinas. Walk to all of Hampden shops and dining. Easy access to I-83 via Falls Road.
Would Suit: Sociable Hampdenites, happy to chat about the house to interested passers by.
Why: A lot of conversational value for the price. Unusually large, sunny back yard.
Why Not: Tunnel phobia (this is a real thing). No bathroom on ground floor.
NB: Hickory Avenue is a one way street, running north up to 36th Street and south down to 36th Street.