Hot House: 119 Beechdale Road, Roland Park, Baltimore, 21210
Tudor-style house in stone and stucco with slate roof, circa 1905. 5,100 sq. ft. over 4 levels, with 6 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, well and completely renovated. Hardwood floors throughout, multiple fireplaces, original architectural features, gourmet kitchen w/ butler’s pantry, large dining room with French doors to sun/screen porch. Ensuite master bedroom w/ walk in closets, separate glass shower, sitting room and balcony. Second floor family room, two laundry rooms. Extensive exterior stonework, including wrap around terrace and side patio. Central a/c. 1 acre lot with play area and 2-car detached stone garage: $1,175,000
What: Built in 1905 for the family of Frances Rider Leonard, who later married the poet Ogden Nash, this house has long been a favorite of Roland Park watchers for its distinctive setting high above Beechdale Road. It is rumored that during Prohibition, liquor was either stored or manufactured in the basement. Deliveries were facilitated by a hidden room and secret passage (still there) between the garage and the basement. There are also three built-in safes in the house, a fact which seems unusual enough to reinforce the rumors. Despite its fortress-like exterior, the house is airy and bright inside, decorated with the light touch of Stony Run Home design. The once-dark wood trim downstairs has mercifully been painted white (a hot button issue in Roland Park). Along the back of the house, windows let in lots of sun. Upstairs is a large and luxurious master suite, a cozy family room and pretty bedrooms. Bathrooms here are large and modern. From the second floor windows, there are views through old beech trees.
Where: At the corner of Beechdale and Edgevale Roads in Roland Park. Edgevale Road does a grand sweep down past the old BCC golf course here, and the terraces of the house have nice views over the former golf course property. It’s a 10 minute walk to Roland Avenue stores, schools and restaurants. It’s about a five-minute drive to 83, and about 20 minutes downtown. Sledding on the BCC golf course is not officially allowed, but it does happen.
Why: Secret passage.
Why Not: It’s a bit of a climb up from the street, but there’s a parking pad by the side door to the kitchen.
Would Suit: People whose home is their castle.
NB: 119 Beechdale was designed by the noted American architect Howard Sill (1867-1926). Sill won the commission to design the Baltimore Museum of Art along with John Russell Pope, but unfortunately died that same year. He was the architectural consultant to Greenmount Cemetery, and designed many fine Baltimore houses.