Hot House: 4 East Madison Street, Baltimore, 21202
Federal period brick home, circa 1845. 13,272 sq. ft., in good condition. Ten bedrooms, 12 baths over three stories, with commercial kitchen, currently operating as a B&B. Marble fireplaces and hardwood floors throughout, original mahogany carvings, large cobblestone side garden. Parking for 11 + cars: $1,995,000
What: A city mansion, built in 1845 for the Corners, a Baltimore shipping family. Eventually sold to the Conrads, lawyers, who built it out and added many of its luxury details. In 1903 it was purchased by Dr. William S. Baer, a pioneer of orthopedic surgery who later founded the Department of Orthopedics at Johns Hopkins University. For nearly a half century, 4 E. Madison was a world-renowned orthopedic clinic, attracting clients like Senator John Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Joe DiMaggio and Katherine Hepburn. Current owner Betty Loafmann moved here from Chicago in 2002, “because I fell in love with the house, and with Baltimore.” She restored the house, including all new systems and central air, and turned it into a B&B — for a time, running a restaurant — Feast at 4 East — here, as well. Inside, there’s a grand entrance hall, with mahogany stairs rising dramatically to the third floor. A floor-to-ceiling mirror reflects the large parlor, with its rare oval marble fireplace, high archways and carved moldings. Further back, the dining room has French windows looking over the garden. Kitchen is industrial, with a 15 burner stove. Many pretty bedrooms upstairs, all large, with high-ceilings and their own baths – some of which need updating.
Where: Number 4 E. Madison Street is between St. Paul’s and Charles Street, just off Washington Place, on the north side of the street. Around the corner are the Peabody Conservatory, the Walters Art Museum, park and monuments. Walk to a play at Center Stage, have dinner at Helmand, breakfast at the “coming soon” new coffee place on Charles Street. Shop at Milk and Honey Market. Easy access to Penn Station.
Why: A statement piece. Weddings, parties in evocative, magnolia-shaded garden.
Why Not: Needs some cosmetic intervention. PVC sprinkler system pipes and wall-mounted HVAC units have to go.
Would Suit: Ian Schrager, or similar, looking for boutique hotel or restaurant — although increasingly, Mt. Vernon mansions are being turned back into single family homes.
NB: Compares favorably to many of the houses on Mt. Vernon Square
Hot House is sponsored by Towson-based American Land Title Corporation, commercial and residential settlement agents.