Hot House: 703 Abell Ridge Circle, Towson, MD 21204
Historic Beaux Arts mansion, formerly the Ridge School, in yellow brick with terra cotta trim and slate roof, circa 1892. Thirteen thousand square feet over three stories, with 6 bedrooms, 5 full and 3 half baths. Grand entrance hall, circular oak staircase, gourmet kitchen, media room, exercise room, luxe master suite. Original crown moldings, pocket doors and shutters, ten fireplaces, hardwood floors, partially finished basement, central a/c on 1.5 acres: $3,890,000
What: A $1 million renovation. Baltimore Sun founder Arunah Abell’s Beaux Arts “country” mansion is handsome and compellingly grandiose — and in 2002, developer Marc Munafo and his wife Victoria began an exceptionally well-done renovation of this architecturally significant Baltimore County home. Built in 1892, Abell himself was closely involved in its design, working almost daily with Baltimore architects Baldwin & Pennington to create a house known initially as Sherwood Park, and later, The Ridge. He had one summer there before his death in 1893. In 1955, the Abells donated the house to the county and it became the Ridge School for disabled children. Munafo, owner of CAM Construction, bought it for $2.2 million when the school relocated to Charles Street, and has lived here with his family since renovation was completed. It’s the only Beaux Arts house left in Baltimore County, although there are several of note in the city, and it’s full of period swags, balconies, carvings, mirrors and medallions.