Hot House: 112 E. Lake Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21212
Southern style Colonial house, circa 1885, frame construction with side porches and front portico. Shingle roof. Six bedrooms, two full, two half baths, 4,281 sq.ft over three stories. Entrance hall, living room with fireplace, dining room, large kitchen, den with fireplace. Hardwood floors, original architectural features. Central a/c. 1.44 acres with detached garage, mature plantings, swimming pool: $799,000
What: A big, old, welcoming house on Lake Avenue that sits well back from the road. It gets a lot of admiring glances, both for its big leafy yard and the gracious proportions that practically invite you onto the porch for a glass of ice tea. At the moment, it’s a little shabby inside, but the BSO has talked to the realtor about using the house for its 2017 Baltimore Symphony Decorators’ Show House. If chosen, besides being merely flattering, it has the potential to be a huge windfall, as some of Baltimore’s leading decorators will gladly remove old wallpaper (which there’s plenty of), paint, plaster and more to transform these empty rooms into AD-caliber spaces at their expense. They would just need to know by February, so they could start selling tickets.
The house has been owned for the past 50 years by Thomas and Ajax Eastman, who raised four sons here. Mr. Eastman was a longtime lawyer for Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver, and Mrs. Eastman is a well-known Maryland land conservationist and environmental activist, whose career was movingly celebrated in the Baltimore Sun. The house is sound, the roof and swimming pool have been recently renovated, and the basement is dry. The interior rooms are large and elegant. On the other hand, you will be starting from scratch in the kitchen, and it needs more bathrooms.
Where: Lake Avenue, between Mossway and Bellona. Behind the house, through the trees, is Cedarcroft Court, a little cul-de-sac where the sound of kids on bikes filters through a summer afternoon. There’s a lovely and convenient circular drive at the front of the house, coming in from Lake Avenue, which takes you to the front door, offers tons of visitor parking and adds to the welcoming aspect. From here, it’s about a half mile east to get to York Road, and a mile west and south to Roland Park schools and shops. Access to I-83 via Northern Parkway. Pinehurst is a safe and popular neighborhood, great for kids.
Would Suit: Family with children, to start this house on another 50 years.
Why: Might be fun to have your house be the Decorators’ Show House, right?
Why Not: The BSO decorators might not want to hear about that cute room you saw on HGTV.
NB: Maybe they’ll do the kitchen…
UPDATE: We received the following email from Susan Hutton, who represents the BSO Show House Search Committee:
“While I and my search committee have seen that property and talked to the realtor, Tom Miller, we have no agreement to use that house for our event. Our agreements with owners to use their properties are legal and binding and always in writing. There has been no such agreement…”