Today in The Insider we feature the home of a local painter and sculptor who remodeled the traditional Bolton Hill townhouse himself. He bought the house in 2001, when it was divided into ten separate residences, and over six years painstakingly restored it to the contemporary masterpiece it is today. Over the same period, he met and married his wife and they now share the space with their elementary school-aged boys.
The five-story townhouse (including the garden floor) was built in the early 1870s as a single-family house. By the mid-20th century, it had become a rooming house and then served as a “party” house for MICA students. By the time Latty bought the house, it needed so much work he decided to gut it. The decision meant a 30-dumpster demolition, structural reinforcement (including a reconstructed roof), and new systems.
Most guests enter the house through the garden floor, which attaches to a lovely courtyard where the boys play. The doors to the courtyard are glass, so it gets tons of light.
The first floor is used as an artist’s gallery.
The fireplace mantels, the front door and the woodwork are all original, as are the hardwood floors. The owner went to great trouble cleaning and sanding the ceiling, which he shellacked and turned into a dramatic design element.
The main family living space is on the second floor, where the kitchen, eating area and playroom conveniently combine.
Much of the furniture came from Baltimore salvage companies Second Chance and Housewerks. The kitchen cabinet below, from Housewerks, was the display case of a wholesale jeweler. It had to be taken apart and rebuilt to fit through the narrow townhouse door!
The bedrooms and full baths are on the third floor.
When the house was a ten-unit rooming house, it was filled with many tiny bathrooms. The owner removed them all and created a 50-foot light well of Venetian plaster, which adds to the openness of the space.
Installing the skylight was a major feat. The job was one of few projects that required professional assistance.
The pictures don’t really do the house justice. So much care was put into the renovation that every piece — from the floors to the radiators — looks like a lovingly crafted work of art.
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