Hot House: 701 W. Lake Avenue, Baltimore, 21210
Colonial-style house in cedar shake with slate roof, circa 1928, recently renovated. Four bedroom, 3.5 baths over 2,446 square feet and three stories. Original architectural features including historic staircase, multiple fireplaces, French doors, crown molding, built-in bookcases and butler’s pantry. Gourmet kitchen, central a/c, heated self-cleaning swimming pool with mineral jets and stone surround, fenced back yard, two-car detached garage on .5 landscaped acres: $715,000
What: An interesting house with a private backyard, a nice heated pool and some historic associations. Rumor is that the gracefully curved staircase here was removed from the Mt. Vernon house where Betsy Bonaparte (nee Patterson) lived, during her high-profile but ill-fated marriage to Jerome Bonaparte, brother of French Emperor Napolean I.( There is a great exhibit on the life and times of Betsy Bonaparte at the Maryland Historical Society now through June, 2014.) The Bonapartes’ 18th century staircase fits beautifully here, and together with ten foot ceilings, wide French doors with fanlights and wide moldings, makes for a lovely entrance hall. It’s elegant and simple, more modern than Victorian. In more recent times, the son of Baltimore’s favorite bandleader Zim Zemeral, lived here for many years. Jon Zemeral and his wife did much of the renovation, which takes the house to a higher level of luxury than you might get from its modest street presence. A big glassed-in side porch overlooks the pool and has wide shutters, a brick tile floor and a gas fireplace. There’s also a screened porch on the other end of the house, off the kitchen. The kitchen is not huge, but it is eat-in, with a granite topped table and nice appliances. Upstairs, the bathrooms are big and modern and there is a room with fine mahogany built-ins, which could be either bedroom or library. A little work on the master suite and this is a dream house.