The Maryland Colony, founded by Lord Baltimore in 1632, was a haven for non-Anglicans, primarily Catholics and Quakers. Talbot County has several clues to its historical past pertaining to Quakers, such as the Third Haven Meeting House in Easton, Quaker Neck Road off the Bozman-Neavitt Rd. and this property ‘s road, named for a Meeting House in the area whose original location is unknown. My tour began with a drive through wooded areas, past the carriage house and its outbuildings as sunlight filtered through the trees and bounced off the water of Meeting House Creek and Harris Creek. The wide arc of the gravel drive ended at the parking area between the house and the pool area. I observed that the house is sited parallel to the road to maximize views from the interior.
Before I entered the house, I walked along the shoreline and around the meticulously maintained grounds (with nary a weed in sight on the ground beneath the tall trees for clear vistas through the landscape). I admired the massing of this perfect “Goldilocks” house-not too large, not too small. Bluestone pavers directed me from the parking area to the front door by a series of staggered pavers transitioning from the driveway to bluestone steps with brick risers ending at the spacious entry terrace. The exterior color palette of the palest olive green against warm white trim and the texture of the vertical siding was serene against the house’s background of woods.
From the parking area, the house appears to be a simple form at first until you remember the famous dictum “God is in the details.” As I approached the front elevation, I saw the house was a three-bay house and I admired how cleverly the architect manipulated the box form. He shifted the center wing back to create an enclosure for the front terrace between the end wings that also projected the center wing beyond the rear walls to meet the waterside terrace with its unobstructed panoramic water views. This geometric shift created a partial second floor. I stood for some time on the entry terrace to admire the elegant scale and proportion of this façade. Placement of the eight ft tall doors and windows at the main floor for total transparency and vistas through the house, the “cottage’ muntins at the top of the windows, the rhythm of the square accent windows above the center wing’s front wall of windows and doors, wide picture windows between operable units, gable end windows set back into the wall to create arched topped recesses and skylights strategically placed for sunlight to penetrate within were the work of a master architect.
The front door opens into a wide and deep foyer underneath the center portion of the partial second floor. As I moved through the foyer, the spatial volume changes from the “bridge” at the second floor loft overlooking the dining-living area below the ceiling that slopes down to the one-story rear wall infilled with more eight foot tall doors and windows that wrap around each outside corner. The deep living-dining room can accommodate two round tables for entertaining and the seating area is grouped around the fireplace’s tall chimney that soars to the underside of the high ceiling. As I explored the center wing’s floor plan, I discovered the “L” shaped stairs and closet at one end of the foyer and the bar at the other end with sliding doors to hide the space when it not in use. I imagined if I were a guest at a party, how delightful it would be to easily move from the front terrace, foyer, bar, living-dining area to the rear terrace.
After exploring the rest of the main level, l understood the floor plan is zoned very well with foyer, living and dining rooms between the kitchen, laundry, full bath and garage at one end of the house and the primary suite and another bedroom/office at the other end. The kitchen has an exterior door to serve the pool area and the full bath is convenient for pool users. I love to cook and this kitchen at the rear corner of the house was sheer perfection in its geometry of the sloped ceiling clad in white slats for texture, hidden uplighting, beautiful light oak flooring, windows facing the pool and sliding doors to the rear terrace, sleek white cabinetry and pulls, black quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances. The large island with waterfall end panels is centered in the room and the countertop extends to create knee space for stools with slender contemporary pendant fixtures overhead.
The bedroom at the opposite corner facing the water is furnished as a study/TV room with sliding doors opening onto the terrace and the triple unit of a picture window between operable units at the side wall for panoramic views. The sloped ceiling has skylights and the walls are lined with built-ins for books and family photographs and one corner of the millwork contains a fireplace. Comfortable furnishings in a colorful floral pattern in blues and reds and others in a smaller red and white pattern made me linger in this cozy space. The primary suite is located at the front corner of the house with identical spatial geometry as the office/study with corner window triple units overlooking the woods and Meeting House Cove for privacy. Two white wicker chairs with blue patterned cushions and the white bed linens with the skirt fabric matching the window drapery create a serene retreat.
The stairs to the second floor blend into the loft area with skylights strategically placed into the sloped ceiling to illuminate the hall area with pools of light. The loft is a charming room with built-in twin beds separated by a low cabinet underneath the square accent windows along the front wall and recessed shelves for books at the side walls. The bedspreads’ colorful pattern of oversized fruits and flowers is playful and along with a table and chairs for board games and snacks, the lost must be a popular sleeping space for children of all ages. The large artwork at one wall with its vibrant colors is the finishing touch.
The two bedrooms at each side gable wall have identical detailing with the triple unit windows recessed into the wall between bookcases at each end with chamfered tops following the edge of the sloped ceiling. One bedroom’s interior design is blue and white with blue patterned bed skirts, padded headboards with white bed linens and a blue side chair. As lovely as this room is, I preferred the other bedroom’s interior design of white rattan chairs, mint green and golden yellow with red accents. I am especially fond of a windowpane check pattern and this room’s bed skirt and padded headboard in golden yellow, mint green and white check pattern with the white bed linens would be my choice as a guest.
The other option for longer guest stays is the cottage sited along the entrance drive with total privacy from the main house. The colonial architecture with white lap siding, wood shake roof with single dormer windows is perpendicular to the drive with its two gable ends offset from each other and the tall vertical element of the chimney as a sculptural element. The entry door in the gable wall opens into the spacious living-dining area with windows on three walls for views of the landscape. The interior wall of the living-dining area is open to the stairs that lead to another space for an office or second bedroom. At the main floor, a short hall off the living-dining area leads past the mini-kitchen, full bath and large bedroom.
This is a unique opportunity to own an exquisite architectural gem that was carefully sited on a seventeen acre point for both sunrise and sunset views and designed by a master architect for water views from every major room. The original owner has lovingly maintained the house. The surrounding meticulously manicured grounds and woods, pool and its pergola, terraces at the front and rear of the house, pier and tennis court offer a relaxed lifestyle. The attached garage at the main house and a detached four-car garage next to the guest house provide ample parking spaces. Magnificent property that exceeds my criteria of site, architecture, interiors and landscape!
For more information about this property, contact Bob Shanahan with Shoreline Realty, Inc, at 410-822-7556 (o) 410-310-5745 (c) or [email protected]. For more photographs and pricing, visit www.shorelinerealty.biz , “Equal Housing Opportunity.”
Architect: Jonathan Butler, AIA of Connecticut Builder: Lee Heinsohn
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.