Hot House: 1200 Copper Hill Road, Baltimore County, Maryland 21209
Photographs by Whitney Wasson Photography
Mid-century, contemporary style home designed in 1959 by modernist architect John Black Lee, well-maintained and in original condition. Redwood exterior with glass front and recent rubber roof, 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths over 3,540 sq. ft. Hardwood floors, 9′ ceilings, plaster walls, three wood burning fireplaces, extensive built-in cabinetry, skylights. Master suite with his/hers dressing rooms. Central air, whole house generator, unfinished basement, stone terrace, secluded wooded park setting. Includes architect’s original plans for garage: $695,000
What: In 1959, Anne and Frank Gray were on a modern house tour in New Canaan, Connecticut when they saw the work of John Black Lee, a modernist architect affiliated with the great Marcel Breuer and his Bauhaus inspired group, the Harvard Five. “We immediately chose him,” said Mrs. Gray. “We wanted the adventure of building a house, and we saw no point in building just another Colonial.” Plus, they already had the perfect site – 1.25 wooded acres in what was then Robert E. Lee Park, sold to them by the Arthur Hoopers, who had just built a landmark Marcel Breuer house on 11 acres in the park that Baltimore City had opted not to buy. “The Hoopers had other offers for the land, but they wanted friends for their children, and we had children, so they chose us.” Black Lee’s design was a masterpiece, an early influence on his famous System House, with a jazzy bi-level entrance foyer, and a few site specific modifications. Anne insisted on “an upstairs laundry room, which was unheard of at the time. And a family room in the kitchen, because I wanted everyone to be together.”
The four-bedroom, 2.5 bath house is almost perfectly symmetrical, with the front of the house higher than the back. Standing in the center of the dining room, the view into the living room and the view into the kitchen are virtually identical, with a fireplace at either end — it’s a delight for entertaining. The windows and back elevation make you feel like you’re in your own private treehouse. Upstairs, the master bedroom, once an entire wing, is now divided (easily undivided) to create a fourth bedroom. Circular skylights bring in lots of sun, and fun built-ins complete the house-of-the-future effect. Construction is top quality. This is a dream project for the right buyer, as well as a place in architectural history.
Where: Driving north on Falls Road into Brooklandville, Copper Hill Road is on the right, just before the old stone school. It winds its way down toward Lake Roland, the last house on the left. The Hooper house is a little further down, on the right. Convenient location, with Baltimore County taxes and schools.
Would Suit: Architectural connoisseur with the creativity to sensitively update this showstopper.
Why: A once in a blue moon opportunity. From inside, the 1+ acre lot looks more like 300 acres.
Why Not: Back terrace could be wider.
NB: Water is on a well, and mailman delivers to a box at the top of the road.