Habitat House of the Week: American Four-Square on Water Street

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On my first visit to Chestertown I took the self-guided walking tour and spent a great deal of time admiring the grand houses of Water Street. This house caught my eye since it also happens to be one of my favorite architectural styles, American Four-Square.

I loved the symmetry of the front elevation with its center door with two windows on either side, five second floor windows aligned above and three third floor dormer windows protruding from the mansard roof. The white color scheme was simply accented by dark shutters and the greenery of the landscaping surrounding the house. The deep front porch that spanned the full length of the house was traditionally detailed and its elevation above the sidewalk and the shrubbery along the front created a private outdoor room to enjoy the street activity.

The gracious entrance hall with its slight alcove at the front door widened to the dramatic side staircase connecting three floors. The transom above and the sidelights on each side of the front door let light into the interior. A wide cased opening led from the entry to the living room with its fireplace flanked by large windows. My favorite room was the dining room with its wide windows and window seat below flanked by built-in glass-fronted china cabinets and other period details like the wainscot that contributed to the house’s period charm.

 

For more information about this property ,contact Richard Budden with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Company at 410-778-0330 (o), 443-480-1181 (c) or rbudden@easternshoremdre.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity.”

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Habitat House of the Week: Sassafras Stunner

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I am always happy to celebrate another architect’s work and to find a contemporary house as stunning as this one was especially pleasing. This house’s setting on a private peninsula above the Sassafras River at Turners Creek appealed to me with its picture postcard setting, broad views to the river and the surrounding wooded Kentmore Park community.

The house’s two-story massing is centered on one gable with other gable projections on both the front and rear that descend to one-story hipped roofs at each side. At the rear, a narrow wrap around porch enlarges at the corner to create a sitting and dining area with water views. A variety of windows, doors and decorative windows opens the house to the landscape.

The interior is a multi-level delight with the living and dining areas open to the second floor seating area above. My favorite design feature was the bold cut-out stair with projections to emphasize its structural elements and painted an accent color. Like the stair, the partial wall that separated the kitchen from the dining area stepped down in different heights and echoed the paint colors of the stair.

Since the kitchen and dining areas had a pitched ceiling, added a beam to define the two areas also created recessed task lighting for the kitchen. The kitchen, complete with the Michael Graves famous teakettle design, won high marks from this cook for its minimal overhead cabinets for open vistas to the two-story living room, the woods and the water beyond.

I loved the dramatic interior architecture of the living room with its recessed light trough that uplighted the rear wall upper window wall, sculptural stair, black accents on the columns and the fireplace shaft, the sensuous curvature of the seating in front of the fireplace and the backdrop of the water beyond is just waiting for that cover of Architectural Digest!

For more information about this property, contact Chris McClary with Gunther McClary Real Estate at 410-639-2118 (o), 410-708-2614 (c) or mcclary21@hotmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Architecture by Charles Harker

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Habitat House of the Week: Buckingham Farm

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One of my friends who is an equestrienne considers Buckingham Farm to be one of the most picturesque horse farms on the Eastern Shore, if not in all of Maryland. Its reputation as a prominent Thoroughbred horse breeding operation with its many stakes-placed winners is well known in equine circles.

Buckingham Farm’s 152 acres contain a range of pastoral vistas from the fringe woodlands along over 3000 linear feet of shoreline on the Chester River to fenced pasture, hayfields and a freshwater pond. In addition to the main and caretaker residences, the site contains two stall barns, a dog barn and pool house.

The main residence was built in 1940 and is accessed from a drive lined with shade trees with views to the fenced pasture. I loved the house’s distinctive architectural style with its dominant feature being a fantastic two story bay window that pours light into the built-in seating opposite the breakfast/kitchen area. There is also a cozy wood paneled den with a fireplace and comfortable overstuffed chairs. The master bedroom is a tranquil retreat with its fireplace and wall of windows to the river views.

My ancestry includes three generations of train engineers so train stations are part of my DNA. I loved the original Pennsylvania Rail Line Train Station, circa 1898, that was relocated to Buckingham Farm in 1957 and rebuilt. It is now a quaint guest cottage for lucky guests.

I firmly believe a touch of whimsy is important in one’s life and the equine topiary in two of the fields made me smile. I could imagine dozing on one of the Adirondack chairs by the river and dreaming of galloping leafy horses…

For more information about this property, contact Richard “Clint” Evans with Cross Street Realtors at 410-778-3779 (o), 410-708-0630 (c) or rce5363@yahoo.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

 

Spy House of the Week: Getting Hit on Mixed-Use

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Having worked in urban design for part of my architectural career, I was pleased to find another mixed-use building on High Street. I love corner lots since the opportunity for increased daylight, ventilation and privacy from adjacent buildings is especially important for the second floor apartments.

This building’ imposing red brick façade with slate blue shutters and large windows has features of the American Four-Square and Greek Revival details with its low pitched hipped roof culminating in a cupola and the emphasized cornice line with its wide band of trim.

The side street has leafy tall trees for delightful views from the second floor apartments. The side yard with a mix of roses and shrubs separated from the public sidewalk by a white picket fence is an inviting urban vista and garden for the tenants.

This building is fully leased with two first floor offices and two one-bedroom apartments above. The light filled apartments with wood floors have different floor plans. My favorite room was the corner living-dining area of one apartment. A great example of mixed-use and a model for small town revitalization.

 

For more information about this property, contact Miles Norris with Select Land & Homes at 410-810-3900 (o) 410-708-5423 (c) or mnorrisselect@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

 

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Spy House of the Week: Octagonal Geometry on Worton Creek

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One of the criteria I use in selecting a house of the week is unique design features and this house with its octagon tower caught my eye. The 10 acre waterfront property includes the 6 bedroom house, salt-water swimming pool, playground and three-car garage. The house’s architecture with its dormers, gables, the octagon and the exterior color palette with its light yellow siding and dark shutters were very appealing.

My favorite room was the octagon that is the “hinge” between the two wings of the house and contains a solarium on both floors. Its first floor is a sitting area adjoining the kitchen and its second floor is a sitting room with low bookcases under the windows, comfortable seating and a telescope for Neal deGrasse Tyson fans of all ages to ponder the night sky. The wood flooring is cleverly laid out in a radial pattern with diagonal accent strips at each corner of the octagon segments that terminate at a 6 point “star” at the center of the floor. Above a cupola pierces the wood pitched ceiling and is wrapped with windows for more daylight and moonlight to penetrate the space.

There were several other design features that makes this house so special. The entry opened up to a two story stairwell with its dramatic curved staircase, the cozy sunroom with its large windows, wood floors and rattan furniture, the bay window in the sitting room and the floor to ceiling bow window wall in the dining room all contribute to the beauty of the interior architecture. The blue and yellow color scheme throughout the house’s finishes and furnishings create a warm and inviting look.

 

For more information about this property, contact Richard Keveaney with Cross Street Realtors at 410-778-3779 (o), 410-708-6470 (c) or rdkeaveney@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

 

 

Spy House of the Week: Looking at Chestertown

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This brick one-story home is surrounded by perennial gardens and has a wonderful cottage-like feel with its cozy rooms and delightfully eclectic interiors. I liked the recessed fireplace nook in the sitting room with its slightly raised hearth and the mantel with its corbeled brick supports. The opposite wall has built-ins for books and collectibles.

Other artisan details include the chamfered corner details of the garage doors that repeat in the shape of the doorway and interior wall opening that separate the eat-in kitchen from the adjoining sitting room. The shed dormer at the rear of the house creates charming interior architecture for the bedrooms on the second floor.

I especially liked the sunroom with its many windows and views of the well-tended and colorful garden. The gazebo with its swing and the terrace with tables and umbrellas offer shade to enjoy the garden’s beauty.

The most intriguing space was the enchanting studio shed in the midst of the garden. Its pitched ceiling was decorated with political quotations and social commentary, slogans, etc. French doors on two sides open up this space to the garden.

 


For more information about this property, please contact Richard Budden with Coldwell Banker Chesapeake Real Estate Company at: (c) 443-480-1181 (h) 410-778-0561 or email: rbudden@easternshoremdre.com. More photos and info at: Eastern Shore of Maryland Real Estate.com. “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

The Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

 

 

Spy House of the Week: Seven Cedar Chase Court in Chestertown

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Good things come in small packages. This house appealed to me with its change in scale that starts from its one story front elevation and expands to a partial basement and second floor at the rear. The rear of the house opens up to a screened porch and deck with views to the surrounding wooded setting with views to the Chester River and a pond on the property.

The living room has French doors to the deck and a bookcase flanked by two other windows and the dining room also has French doors to the screened porch. I liked the materials in the kitchen-wood floors, white cabinets with contrasting black appliances, dark countertop and exposed stained wood ceiling rafters. The bay window over the sink offers a space for colorful plants that can be seen from the screened porch beyond.

My favorite room was the screened porch with its full screened panels that seem transparent at certain times of the day. Access to the adjacent deck creates great spaces for relaxing with family or entertaining friends.

 

For more information about this property, contact Doug Ashley with Doug Ashley Realtors LLC at 410-810-0010 (o) 40-708-0480 (c) or doug@dougashleyrealtors.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

 

Spy House of the Week: The Nicholson Hunt House in Chestertown

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The Nicholson Hunt House, ca. 1788, anchors one corner of a quiet tree-lined street in Chestertown’s Historic District and is close to all town amenities.
The driveway on the side street leads to a four-car garage. On the lower floor, one garage bay is a room with HVAC that could be used for storage. The spacious second floor is unfinished and ready to become guest quarters, exercise room or home office.

My favorite room is the lovely wood framed sunroom at the rear of the house which is a graceful counterpoint to the brick massing of the house. Its large windows with transoms offer expansive views to the walled rear garden. The house has been meticulously restored and lovingly maintained. The high ceilings, window and door trim, chair rail and baseboard, dentil and crown molding, period light fixtures, beautiful original wood floors and 12/12 windows contribute to the house’s distinctive architectural character. I was especially impressed how closets were seamlessly inserted into the bedrooms with little impact to the layout of the rooms.

 

For more information about this property, contact Nancy McGuire with Maryland Heritage Properties at 410-778-9319 (o) 443-480-7342 (c) or nmcguire@MDHeritage.properties, “Equal Housing Opportunity”

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Spy House of the Week: The House of Seven Gables

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This house caught my eye with its numerous gables of many sizes that gives the house its distinctive architectural character. Unlike its New England counterpart, the dark walls and white trim of this house contrast with each other for a pleasing effect.

The front porch with its rockers for relaxing and the rear screened porch are great outdoor rooms. The front door opens into a spacious entrance hall and the last two treads that wrap around the stairwell is a graceful detail. The main sitting room’s interior architecture is enhanced by the full height chimney, the dormer windows and windows on three sides of the room that fill the space with light.

The large kitchen island is a different color than the surrounding cabinetry in the room and the bay window wall surrounding the dining area is painted an accent color for additional interest. The screened porch with its pitched ceiling is a great space for warm weather dining. The master bedroom also has a pitched ceiling and the master bath with its large soaking tub next to a window with views to the woods beyond is a serene spot.

For more information about this property, contact Stacy Kendall with Cross Street Realtors at 410-778-3779 or stacy@csrealtors.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

 

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.