HOT HOUSE: The Friary on the Severn, 1604 Winchester Road, Annapolis, MD. 21409
Brick Georgian Revival mansion, circa 1922, owned by Steve and Maxine Phillips, of Phillips Seafood Company, with 23 acres of land overlooking the Severn River and 2,000 feet of waterfront. Extensively renovated, 26,000 sq. ft. home, with 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 11 fireplaces, indoor spa with pool, gourmet kitchen, catering kitchen, and wine cellar. Also on property, an Asian tea house, a 60-foot outdoor infinity pool, 9-car garage, roof garden, staff quarters, tennis courts and guest house. Six boat slips on private dock with boat lift. $32 million
What: Gatsbyesque dream house, originally built for an American arms dealer, and exuberantly renovated by Steve and Maxine Phillips. In between, it served as a monastery for Capuchin monks. The house is symmetrical and well proportioned, modeled after a James River plantation house. The Phillips paid $2,500,000 for it in 2002, when it was in a state of total disrepair (the monks). Among its best features is a position at the top of a cliff above a sweeping bend in the river, and 270 degree views of the water. The interior is impressive, certainly. A beautiful entrance hall gives a warm welcome — lots of character, with original millwork, hardwood floors and vistas through arched passages. Above it is a round sort of mezzanine, which aims to unite the two wings of the house in a central area, but feels a little like a hotel lobby. Individually, all the rooms are large and well-appointed, finely crafted and full of interesting details (like porthole windows with underwater views into the pool). Many are stunning. But the flow is not great, and in the end, the house does not hang together. One comment on one website reads, “part church, part restaurant, part nursing home” – harsh, but there is a bit of that.
Where: Winchester Road is a long, secluded street that leads down to the Severn River. Newish, mid to high-end houses are visible every hundred yards or so. Nice, but Maiden Lane it ain’t. Annapolis is just minutes away. The Columbia Mall is half an hour away. About 45 minutes to downtown Baltimore or Washington D.C.
Why: Because you have the cash, love boats and absolutely must live in suburban Maryland.
Why Not: What — no fire pit?
Would Suit: “Wealthy internationals” – according to agent.
NB: Owner has decided “this is more house than we really want to take care of.”
Contact: Sotheby’s International Realty
Hot House is sponsored by Towson-based American Land Title Corporation, commercial and residential settlement agents.