Spy House of the Week: Sherwood Serenity

One of my favorite villages in Talbot County is Sherwood, because it embodies a wonderful sense of place due to the group of historic houses that comprise its core.  From The “Wharf House” to the charming bungalows, the village is simply charming. This house caught my eye for its site with its expansive views of the Chesapeake Bay and its evolution from 1890 to the renovation in the 1990’s. Modern touches included the contemporary windows without any muntins and the addition of a “lighthouse” room at the third floor that complements the original massing of the house.

When you open the front door the vista opposite in the two-story entrance area is an “L’ shaped stair with an open railing on one side up to the second floor. I liked the open plan of the main floor, with the kitchen as the pivot point between the family room and the dining room. The large sunroom was one of my two favorite rooms with its windows on three sides and French doors to a deck for direct views to the water just one lot away from the community pier.

The bedrooms were located on the second floor but my other favorite room was located on the third floor, accessed by an open stair from the master bedroom. Furnished as a sitting room, its rear “picture” window was truly that-it framed the water views and the decorative octagonal window allowed light in from the front of the house.  I loved the “bird’s eye” expanded view of the water since you were on the third floor and could look over the rooftop of the surrounding houses for a clear view of the water. The pitched ceiling with its stained wood lateral beams below made a dramatic space. It was indeed a “lighthouse”- one filled with light.

It would be easy to enjoy the outdoors and the water views since most of the main rooms had access to the decks on both floors. The site also contained both a one-car detached  garage and a studio/office/workshop outbuilding in the large fenced rear yard.

For more information about this property, contact Benson and Mangold Real Estate agents Gene Smith at 410-745-0417 (o),410-443-1571(c) or gsmith@bensonandmangold.com, and Kim Crouch Ozman at 410-745-0415 (o),410-410-829-7062 (c ) or kcrouch@bensonadmangold.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.

Spy House of the Week: 102 Locust Street in St. Michaels

One of my two reference books about St. Michaels is “Historic St. Michaels, An Architectural History” by Elizabeth Hughes”. St. Michaels’ initial growth was linked to the shipbuilding industry and prosperity led to the incorporation of the Town in 1804. The 1806 survey showed three “squares”, “Braddock’s Square” (the original plan of the Town), “Thompson’s Square” and “Harrison’s Square”. This week’s feature at 102 Locust Street was part of “Harrison’s Square”.

The street’s original residents were primarily employed in the shipbuilding industry and related trades.

The original house was the bungalow with the shed dormer facing Locust Street and a large shed in the rear yard contained a wood working shop. The house was first expanded with a two-story addition to the north side of the original bungalow. The front room was lined in Chestnut panels whose wood was rescued from an abandoned and demolished barn. The beautiful woodwork and the wood-burning fireplace created an inviting study for the current owner and was my favorite room.

The last addition was a “hyphen” that connected the rear shed to the two-story addition. At that time the former shed was renovated as a master suite and the woodworking tools were donated to the St. Michaels Museum on St. Mary’s Square. The finishing touch was the current owner’s renovation of the large kitchen and upgrades to the two bathrooms in the “hyphen” connection. The additions and renovations created a master bedroom, two bedrooms and two baths so a new owner could enjoy one-level living. The original part of the house could then be the living room, dining room and study.

The backyard was a serene oasis in this hybrid block of commercial structures along Talbot Street and the residences along Locust Street. Two sets of French doors in the “hyphen” led to a terrace surrounded by plantings.

This house is an example of how houses have been adapted over time but the original charming bungalow is still clearly defined for architectural buffs to appreciate. Hopefully this unique house will attract a new owner who will appreciate its place in St. Michaels’ architectural history.

 

For more information about this property, contact Wink Cowee with Benson and Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0415 (o), 410-310-0208 (c), or winkcowee@gmail.com.

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.

Spy House of the Week: Mallard Point

It’s not unusual for the rear elevation of a waterfront property to be the most architecturally interesting since there are customarily a variety of windows and doors to bring the water views indoors to as many rooms as possible. The massing of this rear elevation was very pleasing with two wings at right angles to each other and the lower one telescoped down to the one-story porches that wrapped around the house.

The focal point of the higher gable wing was its chimney flanked by pairs of French doors and windows above. Steps from the French doors led directly down to the large pool. The lower wing had a wall of windows and a deck on the second floor. I love porches and this house just might win the prize for the most porches on a residence I have written about so far with its over 2000 sf of decks, pool flagstone terrace, wrap-around porch with an outdoor kitchen, a teak dining set that could seat 10, screened porch and the open pavilion opposite the large pool.

The spacious interior rooms were made for entertaining. I loved the kitchen with its hardwood floor, white cabinets, stainless steel appliances and black bar stools at the island bar. The rear wall was full-height glass with three sets of French doors that opened up to the screened porch and the water view beyond. A wide doorway led to the combination dining room and the family room with a stacked stone fireplace and the French doors seen from the outside. I liked how the built-ins with the TV cabinet was on a side wall so you could watch TV, look at the fire and the water views through the French doors without shifting your position on the plush upholstered sofas.

Guests would find it difficult to leave with four guest suites (with “en suite” baths as our Canadian cousins say on HGTV’s “Love It Or List It”). The four suites are arranged around a large communal area at the top of the stairs and there was also a den with gas fireplace.

My favorite rooms were the outdoor ones-it was easy to imagine escaping from the heat of a summer’s day under the pool pavilion or having a dinner party on the porch with nine close friends…

 

For more information about this property, contact Tom Crouch with Benson and Mangold Real Estate at 410-745-0720 (o), 410-310-8916 (c) or tcrouch@bensonandmangold.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.

Habitat: Collections of the Eastern Shore by Jenn Martella

I decided to become an architect when I was ten years old and residential design has been so rewarding to me throughout my career. Now that I am also writing about houses, I have enjoyed touring the wonderful houses that have become Houses of the Week. One of the things that fascinated me about the homes’ interiors was to see what people collect and how that reflects their interests and give their houses such personality. Friends to my home know I collect pitchers, one of which is a prized slender pitcher decorated with roses that belonged to my great-grandmother Rose. I also love my “mini zoo” of Oaxacan animal wood carvings with their colorful patterns and whimsical shapes.

Recently I visited the home of realtor Elizabeth Foulds to celebrate the completion of the kitchen and bath design I had done for her.

She showed me her collection of books, newspaper articles, medals and other memorabilia about her late husband Leo’s stepfather, Ralph T. Walker FAIA. When I admired the beautiful fire screen in front of Elizabeth’s fireplace, she told me it had also been designed by Walker. I love cartography and studied several framed maps of Paris that were hanging in Elizabeth’s study. She told me they had been gifts of J. P. Morgan to Mr. Walker.

I remembered his most famous buildings from my architecture history classes, so I decided to learn more about this prolific architect who had reached the pinnacle of his profession. An architect who spent the majority of his professional life in New York City, Walker’s first big break came at the age of 30 when he accepted a position with the noted architectural firm of McKenzie, Voorhees and Gmelin. In ten short years he became a partner in this prestigious firm that still exists today as HLW.

During the Roaring Twenties, he was busy contributing to the changing shape of New York City’s skyline wi

th his designs of iconic buildings including the Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building, the Western Union Building and 1 Wall Street (Irving Trust Company Building). All these buildings are recognized and treasured today for their Art Deco style.

In 1957, the American Institute of Architects proclaimed him the “Architect of the Century” and awarded him the Institute’s first Centennial Medal of Honor to celebrate the Institute’s first one hundred years. America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, saluted him as the “only other honest architect in America”.

Mr. Walker was dedicated to public service and served on many civic boards including the Planning Board for the U.N. and advocated stron

gly for the NYC site where the UN complex now stands. During the 1930’s, he was deeply involved with the planning of the 1933 Century of Progress in Chicago and the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. He was elected President of the American Institute of Architects and served two presidents, Eisenhower and Kennedy, as a member of Commission of Fine Arts.

Many of his New York City skyscrapers have been re-discovered by developers who have converted his Art Deco towers into sought-after luxury condominiums, “Walker Tower”’ on W. 18th Street, “Stella Tower” on W. 50th Street, the Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building at 140 West Street and 1 Wall Street.

Both sides of his grandparents immigrated from Scotland. Mr. Walker was extremely proud of his Scottish ancestry and was a life member of the St. Andrews Society of New York. The table in Elizabeth’s study first belonged to one of Mr. Walker’s grandmothers.

If you have a collection you would like to share with Spy readers, send us a photo and you just may find your collection featured in a future Spy edition. 

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.

Spy House of the Week: High Design in Easton Village

To me, the essence of architecture is space, form and light. Twilight is one of the best times to photograph architecture since the building is lit from within and one gets a feel for the interior rooms beyond the front elevation. The dramatic twilight shot of this house’s street elevation caught my eye with the beauty of its symmetrical three-bay arrangement of French doors and windows with a front gable above and a low-sloped roof over the front porch. The entry was defined by a shorter gable wing projecting to the side with another low sloped roof covering the front door porch.

The site is opposite a small pond in front of a backdrop of mature trees. The property is one of the few double lots in Easton Village and the extra space became a fenced manicured lawn and plantings with a focal point to a garden room open on three sides. Two double garages line the alley, one with a guest suite above and the other for storage.

Linking the garages to the house was an enclosed breezeway that was probably my favorite room with its walls of bookcases, comfortable seating and windows and French doors to the garden. The interiors were simply stunning and I was not surprised to learn that the owner was an interior designer, Jay Jenkins, of Baltimore.

The main sitting room had three pairs of French doors with transoms to the front porch and the focal point of the end wall was a fireplace flanked by framed mirrors, a clever touch instead of windows on this exterior wall. The neutral color palette was serene with layers of texture. These colors continued into the kitchen and dining area with the warm wood table and chairs, hardwood flooring and the light colored kitchen cabinetry that extended to the ceiling to emphasize the ceiling height. The cozy sitting room beyond the dining area was full of art, more books and the chaise lounge in the corner by the windows would be a perfect spot for reading.

The master suite could have been mistaken for a luxury hotel room. I loved the design of the bed with two spindles at the footboard and a padded headboard instead of a typical four-poster. The striped wallpaper was the perfect backdrop for the neutral tones and textures of the linens, wall treatments and carpeting. The master bath’s tile, console lavatory, textured wall covering and art created a spa environment.

I would enjoy being a guest in any of the guest rooms but my favorite was the one with corner windows, matchstick blinds, floor to ceiling draperies and a thick duvet cover for a restful sleep. The dark mocha walls and the light textured floor color with crisp white trim reminded me of my own room. It is always a pleasure to discover a house where the site, architecture, interiors and landscape are in harmony as this one was.

For more information about this property, contact Barb Watkins with Benson and Mangold at 410-822-1415 (o), 410-310-2021 (c), or barb.c.watkins@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.

Spy House of the Week: Halycon Hanson

I never tire of driving down my favorite streets in Easton’s Historic District- Hanson, Harrison and Goldsborough Streets. This house on Hanson caught my eye with its four-square plan enhanced with craftsman details including the front porch Doric columns and large bay and multi-paned windows. Two sunroom additions on opposite sides of the house extended the ground floor living space.

Only one of my homes had an entrance hall so this house’s spacious entry with a vista from the front door to the “U” shaped stair with an open balustrade had great appeal. Opening off the entrance hall was the living room with a fireplace and direct access to the sunroom with windows on three sides which became a second sitting room. The focal point of the dining room next to the living room was a wide bay window that opened one wall to the sunroom.

Since I work at home a great deal, I envied the office at the rear corner of the house which was a cozy quiet area for contemplative work. The work space nestled between two corner windows was perfect for taking a break from computer work to focus on the landscape. When one needed a longer respite from work, the sunroom or the rear yard was only a step away.

I enjoy cooking for family and friends and this large kitchen open to the second sunroom would be a great space for gathering to cook and to share a meal with loved ones. Laundry/mud rooms can’t be overestimated and this one has a door to the rear yard for cleaning up after gardening or play in the deep rear yard and was convenient to the parking pad for bringing in groceries.

The master bedroom with its wide bay window made this room a special retreat. The third floor area dormers are low to the floor and I couldn’t help thinking if I lived in this house my two cats would perch at each window as sentinels until they heard my car pull in the driveway.

For more information about this property, contact Trey Rider with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-2001 (o),443-786-0235 (c) or trey@treyrider.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.

Hearthtstone Health and Fitness Equals Game Changer

Sometimes it takes an outsider with an open mind and an unwavering vision to re-define an industry. Dave Tuthill’s former health issues of type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease and weight gain led him to seek help from his physician and a hormone specialist. His subsequent wellness program of fitness and nutrition enabled him to drop 150 pounds and 15 medications. Grateful for his newfound health, he was determined to “pay it forward” and established Hearthstone in 2012.

The business philosophy of Dave and his wife Martha is simple but effective-focus on member individual wellness, fitness and nutritional needs and hire trainers and other staff with degrees in exercise sciences and national training certifications who incorporate each member’s unique fitness goals into a personalized fitness plan. Training packages begin with a one-hour fitness capability and health assessment. Staff inquire about past injuries and current medications to understand each individual’s unique needs. Plans are offered with discounts for seniors, active military and police personnel. This approach works-current memberships are 700 with a retention rate of 80-85%.

Another unique aspect of Hearthstone’s mission is its outreach to the medical community. Free memberships are offered to area medical professionals who in turn make presentations on their specialties to club members. Hearthstone’s outreach extends beyond its doors by its involvement in many local organizations and charities. So far, Hearthstone has provided support to over 60 local schools and civic organizations.

Having achieved all this, most business owners would rest on their laurels and be content with business as usual, but not Dave and Martha Tuthill. Next month, they will leave their current leased 5,000 sf space and make a quantum leap into their own facility of 17,000 sf under construction on Commerce Drive.

The new facility will offer members amenities such as a business center, a child care facility, open at 6:00am, locker rooms with steam rooms and a massage room, a beverage bar offering smoothies and other nutritional drinks and food-to-go from a local caterer. Fitness offerings include separate areas for cardio, free weights and circuit training, a “turf” area for functional training, a 1,000 sf group exercise room and a storage room for spin bikes. The most unique new offering is a golf simulator where a member can perfect his/her swing until they are ready for prime time on the links. The golf suite has its own outside entrance, so it could be used for private parties as well. After all that exercise, relax in the steam room, shower and dry off with luxurious towels and book a massage.

For more information, call 410- 690-3838.


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.

Spy House of the Week: Historic House in “The Hill”

The geographic area bordered by East Dover, South, Harrison and Talbot Streets and Easton’s Rails to Trails is a hallowed place in the history of Easton. The neighborhood known as “The Hill” is part of the National Register of Historic Places that includes Easton’s Historic District.

Scholars and archaeologists believe it was founded in the last decade of the 18th century by slaves who had bought their freedom and others who were freed by Methodists and Quakers. The first census in 1790 recorded 410 free African-Americans who were living in “The Hill. This is remarkable since at that time only 250 free African-Americans resided in Baltimore.

For the past several years, The Hill Community Project, in partnership with the East End Neighborhood Association, Historic Easton, Inc., Talbot County and the State of Maryland have been involved in archaeological digs and research to learn more about this unique site. Their knowledge may determine if “The Hill” is older than Treme, LA, currently recognized as the oldest US neighborhood founded by free African-Americans.

Homeowners and developers passionate about historic preservation have also begun restoration projects in “The Hill”.

This restoration of the “Trippe-Smith” house at 208 South St. was a labor of love by its developer, Gabrielle Koeppel, who converted this original duplex into a single family home. The two original exterior doors on the front and rear elevations remained as testament to its past.

The main floor is now an open plan interrupted by a small core of the stairwell and the powder room. The continuous vista from the front to the rear doors reveals the living room that now spanned the entire width of the house with sunlight from large windows on three sides, the adjacent original dining room defined by its corner windows and the kitchen that now combined the two unit kitchens into one spacious room. The other original dining room could become an office or a TV room.

Since each unit of the original duplex had one bath on the second floor, there is now a dedicated master bath as part of a spacious master suite. I loved how Ms. Koeppel kept the original claw-foot tub in one bathroom and diligently searched for period porcelain wall hung lavatories and period faucets from Second Chance in Baltimore to enhance the bathrooms. Three other bedrooms and another bath complete the second floor plan.

I was very impressed with Ms. Koeppel’s attention to detail-the beautiful wood floors shine again, period door knobs and light fixtures found on Ebay and auctions look right at home and she even convinced one owner of a barn to relinquish the exterior lights that now illuminate the front doors The wood shingled main roof, metal porch roof, the wood siding, windows with historic shutters and historic paint palette make this home a gem.

I like to think that the Trippe, White and Smith families who called 208 South Street home would be pleased with how lovingly their house was restored for future generations of families to enjoy.

For more information about this property, contact Gabrielle Koeppel at 202-744-0877, “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. 

Spy House of the Week: Cape Cod in Cooke’s Hope

I have several friends who live in Cooke’s Hope and they love being on the highly desirable Oxford corridor and their proximity to the attractions of both Oxford and Easton. As an architect, Cooke’s Hope’s additional appeal is its New Urbanist site design, the entrance drive framed by an allee’ of mature trees and the bucolic setting on either side of the drive with those irresistible banded cows grazing in the open pastures.

The community was built upon land that was part of a land grant in 1659 to Major Miles Cooke and now there are five neighborhoods with housing varying from townhomes to single family residences. This house in the “Springfield” neighborhood had great curb appeal with its full front porch and Cape Cod design. The front door with a transom and sidelights is centered in the symmetrical façade and is flanked by pairs of windows on each side with three dormers above.

The “L” shaped floor plan worked very well- the short end of the “L” contains the garage, laundry, and office and leads to the kitchen and the rest of the house. The spacious entrance hall divides the master suite from the living, dining, family room and kitchen. It is no secret by now that I love porches and this house gets high marks for its three porches-one on the front, a small one on the side off the kitchen and the screened porch at the rear.

The welcoming entrance hall has wainscoting and the stair railing is open on the entry side to expand the space. The color palette of warm gray walls, cream upholstery, patterned rug over beautiful hardwood floors and warm wood accessory pieces was carried through from the living room, dining room and family room.

The kitchen had my favorite “L” shape with an island and other cabinetry on the opposite wall. Direct access to the dining room, family room and rear screened porch and to the spacious brick terrace created a great entertaining space. The terrace had broad vistas of sweeping lawns with colorful planting beds and mature trees.

The master bedroom had French doors to the rear screened porch and the second floor bedrooms were tucked under the roof eaves with high knee walls for ease of furniture arrangement and dormers on both sides of the rooms for light throughout the day.

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For more information about this property, contact Chuck Mangold with Benson and Mangold Real Estate at 410-822-6665 (o), 410-924-8832 (c) or mangold@bensonandmangold.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. 

What $700,000-$1,000,000 Buys You in Talbot County

I research about the history of a property and this one had an interesting past. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the farm was christened “Marshy Point”, then renamed “Airiston”. Since the early 19th century its current name has been “Enniskillen” in homage to its Irish forebears. When I wrote a “Before and After” article about the manor house and its addition, I was curious about this cottage that was visible from the manor house.

I learned it was built in 1995 on a 3.8 acre site that originally a cow pasture for Enniskillen. The brick structure that was the former milk-house/dairy, circa 1840, was included in this parcel. Recently the State re-established an offshore oyster bar here so the farming tradition continues.

The shoreline has been bulkheaded and riprapped and there is a sandy beach that is a great spot for watching the sunsets over the Tred Avon River. I liked the gable end approach to the house with a porch that wrapped around two sides of the house I also liked the corner windows in the kitchen that reminded me of my first home and the wide pine floors salvaged from an early barn. The cottage needs cosmetic updating but one could master plan improvements and perhaps an addition to create a great weekend or retirement home. In the meantime, unwind on the porch or beach and savor the peace and quiet of this secluded spot close to the Oxford corridor and the attractions of Oxford or Easton.

 

For more information about this property, contact Bob Shanahan with Shoreline Realty, Inc, at 410-822-7556 (o) 410-310-5745 (c) or bob@shorelinerealty.biz, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

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.