Vibrant downtowns have a mix of both office and residential units for 24/7 activity and Chestertown has many delightful historic residential streets close to the downtown shopping district. This property in the heart of the Historic District is a great candidate for residential development since it is zoned RB, which allows both commercial and residential uses. The rectangular building sits on a 0.9 acre lot and the existing rear parking area containing four parking spaces could become a spacious rear yard. The site is slightly lower than the adjacent Courthouse lawn and the low brick retaining wall topped with a weathered filigree copper railing is an elegant boundary line. I liked the openness of the site with the Courthouse lawn on one side and Court Street on the other side so neighboring buildings would not block sunlight into the building.
The building in Flemish bond brick has the charm of the Dutch Colonial style with steeply pitched gable walls at each side of the front wing with parapets that rise above the main wing metal roof and paired chimneys centered in the gable walls. The wood fascia and cornice board project slightly beyond the brick façade of the front elevation to create a shallow eave and drip edge. The front door surround is articulated with dentil molding at the header and fluted pilaster jambs. The rear wing side walls step down to the end of the building and the roof on this portion of the building is a low slope continuous roof.
The approximately 1,500 square foot interior one-level space is currently fitted out as a law firm with stained pine paneling, carpet and lay-in dropped ceilings. It is easy to imagine gutting the interior and creating a two bedroom, two bath residence that could be planned with ADA clearance in mind so one could age in place. Skylights could be added to the rear low sloped roof to supplement the existing windows for additional daylight.
The rear parking lot is a blank canvas that could be transformed into a verdant urban oasis. Two parking spaces could be located next to the rear of the building and perhaps separated by a breezeway covered with a pergola and flowering vines. I would be tempted to enclose the rest of the perimeter with brick walls and copper railings to match the existing ones. I would then add serpentine planting and lawn areas in front of the brick walls, hardscape walkways linked to a brick terrace for al-fresco dining, and a water feature for the final touch. Voila!
New interior construction in a pre-WW II building in the center of the Historic District, one-level living and an opportunity to create a private walled rear garden unique in downtown, off street parking-a great list of amenities for an urban dweller!
For more information about this property, contact Doug Ashley with Doug Ashley Realtors at 410-810-0010 (o), 410-708-0408(c) or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more photographs or pricing visit www.dougashleyrealtors.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.
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