Hot House: 1518 Baldwin Street, Hampden, Baltimore 21211
Newly built townhouse, contemporary style with front balcony, wood frame duplex on brick foundation, circa 2014. 1,197 sq. ft. over three levels. Two bedrooms, 2.5 baths with open floor plan. Nine ft. ceilings, hardwood floors, kitchen with custom cabinetry and Brazilian granite counters, landscaped back garden, one car garage: $339,900
What: This is a cool small house. If it were in Denver, or San Francisco, or even Federal Hill, it would be just a hip face in the crowd of modern mid-range housing options. But perched on a steep hillside in deepest Hampden, rising out of a vacant lot where Hon land starts to give way to Appalachia – it definitely merits a “what the heck?” Number 1518 is one of two attached homes. The builder/designer, Stewart Whitney Miley, currently lives next door, which seems like a positive endorsement. It’s been built with conservation in mind – well insulated and with 6-ft. wood frame, energy-efficient windows that let in lots of light. At ground level, there’s an entrance hall that leads back to the garage and a room that could work as a bedroom, storage area or office space. Sleek stairs lead up one flight to the main living area, with a modern kitchen, dining and living open plan area. On the top floor are two bedrooms, both with big closets and modern bathrooms with glass shower.
Where: Baldwin Street is actually more of an alley. Ok, it is an alley. In the lots behind the house, virtually in the backyard, there are rows of plants, berries and a large, plastic tent for growing things. There is an agricultural endeavor going on here– a community garden maybe? Come July, it may be a pretty sight, with tomatoes and squash filling up the empty space. The builder owns several lots in the immediate vicinity and has plans for residential housing. The abandoned mill on Clipper Mill Road, Whitehall Mill, (just down the hill on the other side of Barks and Blooms Doggy Day Care) will soon be developed as a marketplace by David Tufaro, who did the great renovation of Mill No. 1. This side of Hampden is being eyeballed for future development, which you can see if you look closely among the intriguing junkyards and outsider art displays. Stay tuned. In the meantime, Baldwin Street is not easy to find, but with Google Maps, you’ll be fine. And it’s still just a short walk to the Avenue.
Why: New construction, modern aesthetic and bright, open floor plan – all hard-to-find in Hampden.
Why Not: Weird location for this house.
Would Suit: Hampden single guy, not fussed about what goes on in other people’s yards.
NB: There is an abandoned looking Church of the Brethren on the corner. Probably perfectly safe – not bizarre cult.