Landmark for Sale: Palladian Mansion on University Parkway

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Hot House: 719 University Parkway, Baltimore, 21210

Late Victorian, Palladian style mansion, circa 1913, in cream painted brick and stucco.  Ten bedrooms, 5.5 baths, on .44 acres. Original architectural details,  four fireplaces, 13’ceilings, hardwood floors, formal gardens: $799,000


What: A jaw-dropping confection, dramatically sited at the summit of University Parkway. Built in 1913 by an indulgent father as a wedding present for his daughter, the columned and carved portico decorating the front is monumentally romantic, virtually impossible to drive by without an admiring glance.  For many years the house was broken-up into six apartments. Current owner has restored the two main floors to a single family home, retaining two rental units on the third floor. Purchased in 2006 for $1,000,000, the house is still in transition and needs a fair amount of work – some rooms have been beautifully restored and decorated, others halfway, and some not at all. The kitchen is a big, sunny space with new spotlights in the ceiling, new stained glass and polished oak floors, but otherwise empty.  Living and dining room are magazine beautiful, but the sunroom, with its rows of fine Palladian windows, has an old linoleum floor and chipped brickwork. Upstairs rooms are luxuriously large, but the layout feels choppy and you’ll probably want new bathrooms. There is a good-sized flat back yard and the remains of formal gardens, but landscaping is needed. Good news for the buyer, though —there’s a full kitchen in the (semi-finished) basement – so you could easily live here while finishing the job.

Where: Drive south on Roland Avenue, past Cold Spring Lane. Roland Avenue becomes University Parkway. #719 is on the right hand side.

Why:  Everyone’s favorite house – total eye candy. Instant fame just by living here.

Why Not:  No central air. Also no private entrance to the rental apartments.

Would Suit: Big personality.

NB: In the world of decorating, what a seller thinks are “fun touches” – like say, a low-hanging giant propeller/ceiling fan – a buyer might perceive as “weird stuff.” There’s some of that here.


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  1. Some “weird stuff” is what gives a place like this the strong personality it needs. You can’t live here, much less entertain here, if you are a run-of-the-mill, ho-hum sort of person. So bring on the propeller fans, and the alabaster nymphettes on the mantle, with the koy pond in the entry. Just -please!- get rid of the linoleum floor.

  2. I have always wondered about this house…glad to learn more (it was a wedding gift!?) and see inside.

  3. I seem to recall my father telling me that this house was briefly used by “diplomats” from Nazi Germany! Anyone know anything about this? He liked a good story, but I wonder if this was true!

    • interesting — my source for the house history thought that the father of the bride who built the house had a german last name — hillenbacht, maybe?

    • No the story is not true my family sold this house in 2006. We purchased from Johns Hopkins in the late 60s it was used to house the school president for years before it was sold What else do you need to know

  4. I have always admired this house and always longed for a peek inside. It’s magnificent. If only I knew someone would could afford it!

  5. I saw this house recently and it needs WAY more work than one would assume from looking at the photos. It is empty, dirty, floors need refinishing, moldings need repair, and water damage to some areas of ceiling. It needs a major overhaul, including the first floor. The original mirrors in the dining and living rooms have been removed, and the bathrooms are pretty gross. And this house is HUGE! Like living in a museum huge. That said, inside the main entrance are two of the most spectacular stained glass doors I have ever seen. The view from every window is incredible, and there is an enormous stained glass skylight in the third floor stairway that was so gorgeous it blew my mind — though there is a crack in one of the panels. One of the most beautiful and special interiors I have ever seen, but will require wheelbarrels full of cash to restore to its original glory. Hopefully, the right person looking to take on this kind of project comes along. What a beauty it could be!!

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