Tag: guilford

Sleek Apartment In Mid-Century Masterpiece

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HOT HOUSE: Apt. #503, Highfield House, 4000 North Charles Street, Baltimore 21218

Streamlined one bedroom apartment in an iconic Mid-Century Modern building. 869 square feet, with 24-hour service, underground garage with valet parking, swimming pool: $125,000

What: Your life, only more like “Mad Men.” Built in 1964, Highfield House is one of two Mies Van der Rohe buildings in Baltimore.  In its day it was a major architectural statement. And if you  stand back and look, the strong, clean, “less is more” aesthetic, and Mies’ sure, restrained hand come shining through in the design of Highfield House today. The lobby is fabulously chic, with its black leather Barcelona chairs and glass floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s one of those places, like the Apple Store, where everyone becomes more interesting just by being there. The building is well-maintained and well-served, and they’ve done their best to keep it up to date while preserving its architectural integrity. Number 503, like all the apartments in Highfield House, has a wall of windows stretching along the back, maximizing the light and vistas. There are angled walls, which keep it from feeling boxy, hardwood floors and a sweeping sense of space for a relatively small area. Galley kitchen and bathroom are fine as is, but with some work, could be really great. This elegant and contemporary setting cries out for spare, modern decorating. If you can, leave grandma’s stuff behind. On the other hand, a cocktail shaker would look right at home.

Where: In the Tuscany-Canterbury neighborhood, about a half-mile north of Johns Hopkins University. Safe and walkable.    

Would suit: Don Draper, obviously. Emma Peel.   

Why: It’s the ultimate showcase for your Mid-Century furniture. And, it’s a very cool building, quite different from the other apartments along the Charles Street corridor, and with more luxury amenities than most. Residents are an interesting, artistic bunch.  

NB: 503 is not, by a long stretch, the best apartment in the Highfield House. The really spectacular ones are the high floor, corner three-bedrooms, and those where two apartments have been combined. In these, the feeling of light and space are awe inspiring – exactly the way the architect intended. None are for sale right now, but the right agent can get you on a waiting list. 

Cottage-Cum-Castle With Curb Appeal

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HOT HOUSE: 4405 Greenway, Baltimore 21218

English manor-style house in Guilford,  built in 1913, with landscaped gardens,  courtyard entrance, carriage house with turret room and oval pool.

Seven bedrooms, six and a half baths, half acre or so: $1,125,000 

What:  Lots of curb appeal. From the steeply pitched slate roof, to the tall chimney, gleaming windows and the beautiful stone, this house is a romantic Cotswold cottage-cum-castle. It’s hard to know where to begin. There are interesting sightlines and intriguing rooms throughout the house, all cleverly and thoughtfully designed. An amazed broker states the obvious, “in Scarsdale, this house would be five times the price.” A flagstone circular drive, and iron-gated courtyard at the entrance lead to a separate stone carriage house (garage). Up a spiral staircase in the carriage house is a chauffeur’s apartment/teenager’s dream set-up — one big bedroom with a rough kitchen, bathroom, closet.  Nothing fancy, but your 17-year-old self will smile at the possibilities, and it looks like a lucky kid has been living the life up here.  Inside the main house are rooms, mostly big, some small, with elegant carved moldings, deep baseboards, fireplaces, Georgia pine floors, nice details and windows overlooking the tile patio and formal sunken gardens at the back of the house. The kitchen is unusual – in decoration and in layout. A large L shape, with the first part of the L containing the main sink and appliances as well as a narrow breakfast bar, and the second part of the L accessible through a swinging door into a huge long butler’s pantry with kitchen table. Might be something that just takes getting used to.  Bright red, whimsical wallpaper leads up the stairs to the second and third floors. At the first landing is a lovely arch, with French doors overlooking the garden and letting in the light. The bedrooms upstairs are large and comfortable, many have their own bathrooms. Master bedroom has a large windowed study with fireplace, as well as a dressing room and full bath. Most of the bathrooms need updating (to convert to showers instead of claw-foot tubs), although many have beautiful marble walls and fixtures. There’s a large cedar closet and storage room on the third floor, also a maid’s quarters.  Basement is not finished but, more important, is newly waterproofed. Central air. The gardens are magnificent, formal sunken beds, with a true domed gazebo, a rose allee and the oval swimming pool off to the side.             

Where: On its website, Guilford refers to itself as “the premier neighborhood in Baltimore.” It is certainly the home of some of Baltimore’s finest mansions, with the lovely Sherwood Gardens at its center, and a distinctly more formal feeling than neighboring Roland Park and Homeland. Greenway is the longest and prettiest street in Guilford, and 4405 is close to St. Paul’s Street, a short walk from the gardens. Guilford is a great neighborhood for walking and jogging, very close to Johns Hopkins Homewood campus and Charles Village. 

Why:   It’s a beautiful home — large, impressive and well built — in a grand style. Living here says, “I’ve made it.”

Would Suit: C.E.O, C.F.O, C.O.O, M.D.  V.P.s will have to sit tight and wait. 

NB:  Can’t quite see how that kitchen would work…

Downsizing with Elegance

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HOT HOUSE: 230 Stony Run Lane #3F Baltimore, MD 21210

Large, airy condo in the grand old Gardens of Guilford apartments near Johns Hopkins University.  Two bedroom, two bath, 1,510 sq. ft. home with stunning roof terrace: $299,000

What: A rare find. A large, well-maintained apartment in one of the most desirable buildings in north Baltimore. The Gardens of Guilford were built in 1924, a good year,  as America was riding a pre-Depression high and construction budgets were lavish. Its distinctive Mediterranean style–rounded roof tiles, thick walls, big windows, stucco exterior–whispers “old money.” Through attractive gardens and up two flights of stairs, #3F opens into an apartment that’s full of light and charm. A large, sunny living room to the left of the foyer has a wall of windows and French doors that open onto the roof terrace–easily the crown jewel of the building. Beautifully designed, generous in size and luxurious in planting, the terrace could comfortably accommodate a dinner party of six to eight, cocktails for twenty. A trickle of water runs musically into a small fountain. Dappled shade from tall trees creates a real feeling of oasis in the city. It’s hard to leave the terrace to go inside, but once there the apartment is a delight. The living room has a cozy fireplace and built-in bookcases. Walk through the open dining room into a nicely modernized kitchen, both with good-sized windows. Two hallways lead off the main area, one leads to the smaller of the bedrooms  (13×13’) and a new bathroom with glassed in-shower. The second hallway leads to a very big (13×19’) second bedroom, currently a chic office, with an expanse of windows running along one wall. Another wall has built-in cabinets with square doors, running floor to ceiling and providing a wealth of storage. There’s a good-sized closet here as well, and a second bathroom is out in the corridor.  Apartment has forced air heat and central air too, for days when even these amazing windows aren’t enough.  

Where: Tucked in between St. Paul Street and University Parkway, in the beautiful, quiet neighborhood of Tuscany-Canterbury. A very short walk to Johns Hopkins University, Charles Village and Baltimore Museum of Art. To get there, take 39th Street off of St. Paul Street or University Parkway to Stony Run Lane. Stay straight at the stop sign to Gardens of Guilford. Entrance is on the right at top of circle labeled 3.

Apartment is on the third floor to the right.  

Why: The roof terrace alone would do it, but this place checks a lot of boxes. Secluded yet convenient. Stylish yet dignified. Safe, secure and very walkable. 

Would Suit: Bronte Mitchell, the environmentalist who hooks up with Gerard Depardieu in Green Card, the ‘80’s romantic comedy.  If you haven’t seen it lately, then think Hopkins professor. Also, downsizers and/or travelers–it’s an ideal turn-the-key-and-go type building. 

Why Not: Watering the roof garden might become a chore… 

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