Mt. Vernon Landmark: Robert Long-Designed House On Hamilton Street, Baltimore’s ‘Writers Row’

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Hot House: 10 W. Hamilton Street, Baltimore, 21201 MD

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Historic Federal-era brick townhouse, circa 1818, built by Robert Carey Long, recently renovated.  Three bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, with 3,810 square feet over four levels, second floor main living space. Seven fireplaces, hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, pantry. Master bedroom suite with walk-in closet, separate bath, shower. Library with built-ins, family room, walled patio garden, central a/c: $589,000

What: A charming city house on one of Mt. Vernon’s most interesting streets, this is one of five historic townhouses built in 1818 by Baltimore’s first native architect, Robert Carey Long. According to a 1796 Baltimore City Directory, Long himself lived next door at number 8, and may also have lived here at some point.  Two of old-Baltimore’s bastions of intelligentsia, the Hamilton Street Club (for men) and its sister club (for women) are located at numbers 14 W. and  8 E. Hamilton, respectively.  The writers and journalists of the legendary Hamilton Street Club included John Dos Passos and Ogden Nash, and their presence there burnished the street with the legend “Writer’s Row.” Today, it is actually more of a “Designer’s Row” –  several well known design firms have offices here.

Although the members of the men’s Hamilton Street Club “for conversation” are no longer young lions, the conversation is still good, according to the current owners of this house, who occasionally overhear it wafting across the garden on a summer evening.  “Liberal politics, current events, women — it’s a riot.”

Number 10 is the tallest house on the block. There are window boxes in the front and a walled brick patio in the back. A beautiful magnolia rises from the garden nearly to the roof, and makes a nice view from the dining room windows. Like most Robert Long designs, this house is two rooms deep. The street level was used as a shop, now it’s an entrance foyer, a roomy office, lounge and mudroom. Stairs lead down to a fantastic basement, with a large tool shop and a small wine cave. Upstairs are the main rooms — living room at the front of the house, kitchen at the back, with cork floors and granite counters.  The large central dining room has windows over the garden and gets the afternoon sun. Third floor is a large and luxurious master suite, with Japanese-style sliding screen in the bath, jacuzzi tub and separate shower, plus an elegant dressing room with walk-in closets. Fourth floor has two large rooms including a guest bedroom  and full bath.  House could work for family, there are schools nearby. It is a stylish and smart renovation of a Mt. Vernon jewel.

 

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Where: West Hamilton is a tiny street that runs between Charles and Cathedral, just south of Centre Street. Nearby are the Milk & Honey Market, Donna’s and Dooby’s for coffee, Brewer’s Art, Helmand, and City Café, as well as all the cultural attractions of Mt. Vernon – the Peabody, the Walters, and more.  First Thursdays in Monument Park   a wildly popular summer venue for Mt. Vernon residents. Many in the neighborhood have lived here for decades. They are a social group, and you will have plenty of company if you want it.

Why:  A house with great personality, interesting neighbors, music and museums, near the train station (for DC commuters)

Why Not: No large green space around.

Would Suit: Urban carpenter (that basement work room).

NB: Street parking, with permit. Nearby parking lots will happily lease you a space.

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