In Roland Park: Distinctive Italianate Villa of Renowned French Medievalist

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Hot House: 4828 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210

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Italian-style stucco house, circa 1900, with portico and large sunroom. Eight bedrooms, 3.5 baths over three levels. About 4,840 sq. ft., in good condition with hardwood floors, leaded-glass windows, original architectural details. Large formal living room and dining rooms with fireplace and columned archway. Large eat-in kitchen, den and glass sunroom running the full width of the house. Master bedroom suite upstairs with three more bedrooms and bath. Four large bedrooms and bath on the third floor. Unfinished basement, elevator, zoned central a/c. .41 acres: $740,000
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What: In the parade of memorable homes along Roland Park’s main drag, this is a popular favorite. The color of a Tuscan sunset, it was owned for more than 50 years by John Baldwin, a world authority on French medieval history until his death last year  (see Baltimore Sun obituary). Mr. Baldwin was a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor —  awarded rarely to Americans and almost never to academics. He joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University in 1961 and stayed until he retired in 2001.  An expert on the French monarchy,  he published ten books on medieval French history, including a summation of his work entitled Paris, 1200. His wife Jenny Jochens, a longtime Towson University professor, said her husband’s primary hobby was work, but added that “he liked caring for our home.”  He did a good job with that, although he may have planted a few too many trees in the front yard. Photos of the house pretty much tell the story. Good condition, well preserved, but needs cosmetic work. In Roland Park, enforcement of the architectural covenants has waxed and waned over the years. During a period of laxness, the original Spanish tile roof was removed and replaced by the Baldwins, who found the cost of a new one to be higher than an academic salary could support. The current roof is shingle, in good repair. This will be a disappointment to historic-minded buyers, but a relief to budget-minded ones.

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Where: A prime location on the corner of Roland Avenue and Elmhurst Road, just a few blocks south of Eddie’s, a block north of (and on the same side as) Petit Louis. The fine Roland Park Public School and many independent schools are a short walk away. Ditto Starbucks, cash machines, library and post office. Large, private back yard backs onto Long Lane, an access alley for trash pickup and parking.

Why: Once the trees are cut back, the house is a real beauty.

Why Not: No garage. kitchen’s a gut.

Would Suit: Buyer who can see the forest (house) for the trees.

NB: Living room has cheesy wood shelving from the ’70’s which should go.



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4 COMMENTS

  1. Very awkward living room. Is that a closet in the corner right next to the fireplace? The house needs cosmetic updating (no idea as to the state of the plumbing and electricity). Price is too high. 500K is more realistic as the new owners will want to spend another 200-250k in upgrades.

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