Hot House: 625 Portland Street, Baltimore, 21230
Renovated sign store and warehouse in Ridgely’s Delight, circa 1920, brick and stucco, with original frontage, gutted and completely rehabbed. 8,556 square feet over three stories, including large walled and landscaped courtyard with pond. Three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, elevator, private off-street parking for six cars, whole house intercom and music systems, gourmet kitchen with fireplace: $1,295,000
What: A very exclusive listing. Nothing about the picturesque, black painted, London-style exterior here on Portland Street prepares you for the gasp-inducing, wide open, light-flooded, 20’ ceiling of the modern space inside. Windows are placed high on the exterior walls. Lots of wall space for art. The second floor is accessed by custom iron stairs, and there’s a Zen room, a library, a double office, two bedrooms and a full bath up here. The entire third floor is a master suite. The master bath is spectacular, with riverstone tile floor, marble tub with waterfall spouts, seated makeup area, giant glass shower with two shower heads, oversized rain shower head and eight separate jets and marble seats.
Architecturally, what’s interesting is that the entire second floor, (except the two bedrooms), overlooks the first floor living and entertaining areas, particularly the sleek industrial style kitchen at the heart of the house. There’s a wood-burning fireplace with raised hearth, exposed brick walls, sitting area, poured concrete floors, high-end appliances, and an ultra cool, see-it-to-believe-it French 10 pane glass garage door leading out onto the huge courtyard. Out here it’s Marrakesh. The sound of water, trees and grasses blowing softly, geometric landscaping …and muted sounds of cheering as the Orioles go into the seventh inning. Does life get better than this? Yes! The guest bathroom has a urinal.
Where: Ridgely’s Delight is a tiny, historic Baltimore city neighborhood squeezed between S. Greene Street on the east and MLK Boulevard on the west, south of Pratt, just north and west of Camden Yards (if you’ve passed Pickles, you’ve gone too far). Driving south through downtown on S. Greene Street (which becomes Russell Street just south of Portland), pass the University of Maryland Hospital and take a right onto Portland Street. A few years ago, this would have been a pioneering neighborhood, but now it is pleasantly mixed, safe and, from all reports, friendly. Children ride bicycles down the sidewalk, neighbors talk to each other on front steps. Popular with Washington, DC commuters because of its proximity to the MARC train and Light Rail Camden Street stations, it’s also the birthplace of Babe Ruth and home to the Babe Ruth Museum on Emory Street. 625 Portland is across the street from a fine Irish pub, Quigley’s. Nearby are Peace and A Cup of Joe, the Corner Bistro and Wine Bar as well as a small playground. Residents send their kids to the nearby Montessori School and the above average Thomas Johnson Elementary School.
Why: Sleek design, outdoor space and lots of parking in unique city location.
Why Not: Rather renovate your own warehouse.
Would Suit: Sports fans (can’t get much closer than this), DC commuters, UMD Hospital docs.
NB: Musical tinkling of water in courtyard does not totally drown out roar of the crowd on Orioles game days (about 80 a year).
Hot House is sponsored by Cindy Conklin and Bob Merbler of Prudential YWGC Realty
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