Little House on Lotta Land: Architect’s Luxury Renovation Of 1879 Sparks Schoolhouse

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Hot House: 7 Stoddard Court, Sparks, MD 21152

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Architect redesign of 1879 stone one-room schoolhouse with slate roof.  One bedroom, one bath, 1,625 sq. ft. Open floor plan, hardwood floors throughout. Large main floor living room/gourmet kitchen with Wolf range, Miele appliances, granite counters, custom cabinetry. Custom wine room. Luxury full marble bath with seating and gas fireplace. Upstairs loft bedroom with vaulted ceiling. Large laundry room, good storage, central a/c. Extensively landscaped, private 4.5 acre grounds with heated swimming pool, stone poolhouse and stone barn/shed: $635,000.

Open house, Sunday, September 11, 12-3pm

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What:  An architect’s dream project. This former schoolhouse was built in 1879 by Baltimore County, on a parcel it purchased for $150 from farmer Josiah Price. It was called the Trujay Schoolhouse, for reasons now unknown. The sturdy structure had the floor plan of rural schools everywhere —  one large room with high windows and a no-nonsense look. In 1909, several similar schools were consolidated into the Sparks Elementary School, and this became the African-American school — for the children of local farmworkers. In the 1950s the school was closed and sold back into private hands. Recently, it had a happy reincarnation as an architect’s creative exercise and acquired a villa-like aspect in the process. A free-standing kitchen with high-end gear overlooks the wide open living space. There’s a gas fireplace in the living room and another in the Roman-style marble bathroom, which has ample seating and a separate shower. The lofty ceilings have become a comfortable sleeping loft, with closets and built-in storage. Outside, lush gardens surround the house. It’s a cool idea, and definitely worth a Sunday drive to Sparks if you’re in the market.

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Where: Stoddard is a small, upscale neighborhood in rural Sparks, almost directly across York Road from the Milton Inn.  In the 1990s, in the years following the sale of Josiah Price’s farm,  the Stoddard neighborhood was slowly developed. Stoddard Court is a cul-de-sac with  grand houses on large lots.  The house at 6 Stoddard is the original Price farmhouse, nicely renovated, and another stone outbuilding (maybe the barn)  is now the Great Feather’s Fly Shop. This house, 7 Stoddard Court, is located at the end of the cul-de-sac, set back on 4.5 acres of land with no other houses in sight. It is a short jog to The Filling Station, a popular coffee shop, and just about five minutes south on York Road to the Hunt Valley Towne Centre. The Gunpowder River and NCR hike and bike trail are less than a mile from the house.

Why: Small luxury homes are surprisingly hard to find, according to the WSJ.

Why Not: Bedroom and bathroom on different floors.

Would Suit: Travelers and/or gardeners. Marylanders on the “six months a year” plan.

NB: House conveys with the right to build an addition, a garage, and/or an entirely separate home so that this house could become a studio or guest house.

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