Hot House:  5002 Wetheredsville Road, Dickeyville, Baltimore, Md. 21207

1830 semi-detached, stone colonial, updated and well maintained, overlooking the Gwynns Falls in Dickeyville.  Two thousand sq. ft. includes three bedrooms, two and a half baths, two-car garage with loft:  $300,000 (recently reduced from $350,000)

What: Originally the village school house, this is one of several houses currently for sale (see photos) in Dickeyville, a historic neighborhood tucked away in northwest Baltimore with the storybook feel of a small 19th century village.

At 5002 Weatheredsville Road, a narrow brick path leads through the picket fence and into a large, bright living room with a wood-burning fireplace. Dining room, laundry room and a country-style kitchen are also on the main floor. French doors in the kitchen open to a brick patio surrounded by trees — you can hear and see the trickling of the falls. Upstairs are three nice bedrooms with large closets. Period details include beamed ceilings, crown moldings and wood floors. Central air, too.

Dickeyville is one of Baltimore’s great hidden neighborhoods, a real trip back in time. Baltimore author Laura Lippman grew up here. It is close-knit and friendly community, situated at the beginning of lovely Leakin Park with its 15 miles of hiking and biking trails. There is no through traffic, so it’s quiet and safe, with good ethnic diversity and an arts and crafts sensibility. People who live here love it, and many have been here a long time.  The community association is strong and active.

Where: Inside the beltway, near the Baltimore County line in Northwest Baltimore City, close to the Forest Park municipal golf course ($30 to play).  Take Northern Parkway west, past the Pimlico Racetrack to Wabash Avenue. Take a left on Wabash and go about a half mile to Hillside. Take a right on Hillside, go 1.5 miles, then turn right onto W. Forest Park Avenue. After a half-mile, turn a sharp left onto Wetheredsville Rd.  Dickeyville is about 15 minutes from Mt. Washington, much closer to Security Boulevard and Woodlawn.  

Why: Park-like setting, absolutely unique, charm in buckets — visitors will go nuts.  Walk out the door to access 15 miles of trails. Famous for musical 4th of July and other parties. Houses are well-priced.

Why not:  Here’s the problem. Dickeyville is basically in Forest Park, a middle class Baltimore city neighborhood with pockets of urban decay and almost no decent retail — like a grocery store. There is a nice nursery school here, but public schools are poor. Cute and safe as Dickeyville is, sadly, you have to leave Dickeyville to shop, eat and work. Closest shopping is Security Boulevard.

Who: Tom Sawyer and Becky, now working at the Social Security Administration.  Fans of Historic Williamsburg. Pottery major at MICA.

NB:  You could open a coffee shop here (check zoning) and be a true small town hero. Friends at MICA could make an indie movie about it.