Design Matters: Yurts in Maryland-Who Knew? By Jennifer Martella

Recently I co-hosted a shower for a dear friend who is getting married in early November. As she and her fiancé were opening their gifts, one of the guests asked where they were going for their honeymoon. Their surprise answer was they were going to stay in a “yurt” at the Savage River Lodge in Western Maryland and enjoy “glamping”. We further learned that “glamping” is the new buzz word for ”glamorous camping”.

I vaguely remembered from my architectural history classes that a yurt was a portable structure shaped like a small circus tent used by nomads in Mongolia and other Asian countries. After further investigation, I rediscovered the yurt’s round shape, with sloped roof rafters ending at a compression ring at the top that framed an opening to the sky.

The Savage River Lodge has eight thirty-foot diameter yurts updated with a skylight for stargazing, double layers of wall insulation behind the outer canvas wall covering, gas log fireplaces and radiant floor heating for optimum thermal comfort. The nomads laid rugs over the ground for floor covering, but the Lodge’s yurts are permanent structures with wood flooring that rest on foundations raised off the ground.

Photos by Jennifer Dobson

Each yurt has a private deck and the interior contains a sitting area, beverage center and breakfast nook, sleeping area with a king size bed and luxury linens and a private bath with an oversize shower. Room service will deliver fresh baked muffins and orange juice to your door for a private breakfast.

If you are seeking an unusual weekend getaway to enjoy the fall foliage, hiking or kayaking or want to celebrate a special occasion contact the Savage River Lodge here

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 Investigation: The Talbot County PawPaw

A few days ago, a Spy subscriber left a plastic bag with two pieces of very exotic-looking fruit at our international headquarters on Dover Street for our sampling pleasure.  While the reader did not indicate as such, the Spy believes that he/ she may be associated with the PawPaw Appreciation Association – Cooke’s Hope chapter, since the fruit is a Talbot County product.

The PawPaw is not new. It was discovered and named Asimina in 1541, and actually is the largest edible fruit indigenous to the North American continent. And it certainly helps to know that the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew the plant to offer as a dessert. It also served as a critical part of Lewis and Clark’s food supply.

But how does it taste?

Good. The Spy took our sample and did a tiny and uncontrolled taste test on Goldsborough Street. It was served at room temperature (Washington liked his chilled), and it had a softer texture than pyataya. Is that enough to bring back the PawPaw to restaurants and fine dinner parties shortly? You’ll need to contact the Cooke’s Hope chapter representative for that answer but they left no contact information.

 

Spy Habitat Price Points: What over $1,000,000 Buys You in Talbot County

This week’s feature is a property listed for $1,295,000 at 27715 Villa Rd, Easton.

The history of this unique property dates from a 60 acre land tract sold to Wenlock Christison, a notable Quaker leader, in 1677.  He added it to another 150 acres he had acquired that was called “The Ending of Controversie”.

The house is the focal point of its 4.9 acres with mature trees and landscaping and views of the Miles River Tributary beyond.  I admired how the period details like the original staircase, fireplace mantels, and wood floors have been carefully preserved and maintained.  The kitchen, bathrooms and HVAC have been modernized without compromising the interior architectural character of the original room layout.

For more information about this property contact: Schuyler Benson with Benson and Mangold at 410-310-3251 or sbenson@bensonandmangold.com or Bob Shanahan with Shoreline Realty at 410-310-5745 or info@shorelinerealty.com

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.

Design for You: Remembering Jim van Sweden by Pamela Heyne

Oh we had fun! Jim van Sweden was one of the most delightful of collaborators, and an extremely talented and successful landscape architect.

Littlefield house addition by Pamela Heyne AIA, from Bold Romantic Gardens

I met Jim at a party in Washington in the 1970’s. He had recently started a landscape firm with Wolfgang Oehme. Wolfgang had been a successful Baltimore landscape architect with a unique naturalistic style, partly an influence from his native Germany. Jim actually had been in the city planning field, but realized he loved landscape design. At the outset of their partnership, Jim worked out of a bedroom, then the basement of his Georgetown house.

van Sweden home garden, viewed from kitchen designed by Pamela Heyne, AIA

One day Jim received a phone call from David Lilly, a board member of the Federal Reserve, saying he wanted them to design a garden for the facility. Jim said to Wolfgang, “This is our big break”. After a tough winter which killed magnolias, Jim and Wolfgang created a series of varied areas that included benches and pergolas, so that people in the neighborhood could use the garden. When the project was finished I happened to pick up a copy of The New Yorker, which reviewed the garden as “being touched by the hand of God.” Well, that was something, from the urbane New Yorker. Soon I helped design Oehme van Sweden’s office in a Georgetown commercial building. Eventually they “bought the bank”… purchasing a bank building for their offices on Capitol Hill. They would go on to design other major projects such as Battery Park City, the World War II Memorial, and the National Gallery. They obtained numerous important residential clients, such as Oprah Winfrey.

Federal Reserve Garden

The name of their style was “the new American garden” or sometimes termed “the low maintenance garden” . Jim said he hated “ditsy” landscape design, and mentioned “anyone can do spring.” They disliked neat lawns with clipped borders. Instead they created gardens that were more like meadows, big scale and colorful throughout the year. The wind was an important factor, as were water features. They had a wide palette of perennials, and made bold use of grasses…. unusual at the time. The essence of the gardens was an exuberant lushness throughout the year. However, when the gardens were first planted, clients had to be lectured (usually by the heavily accented Wolfgang) that patience was a virtue.

Jim was generous in giving architect friends such as myself interesting jobs with which to collaborate. He might suggest a type of window, or a placement in the landscape that was unusual, and made your work better. He also laughed and said some architects asked him to “cover up their mistakes!” I remodeled his home, and did several projects for one of Jim’s best friends, Jerry Littlefield. The Littlefield house and garden is shown in this article. Jim and I worked on a number of other projects together, including Evelyn Nef’s Georgetown house, known for its two story high Chagall mural in the rear garden. A particularly fun project was a pool house I designed with a curved outdoor shower covered with a trellis festooned with Jim’s choice of vine, silver lace. I always thought it would be fun to shower out of doors under plants, a la Mary Martin in South Pacific.

I put a picture of the kitchen I designed for Jim in a recent book of mine on kitchen design. Jim and I had many happy hours sitting at that table, laughing, and looking at his spectacular garden. When I met Carl Widell, a man I considered marrying, I took him over to Jim’s house one night to meet my friend, sit at that table and observe the garden with dramatic uplighting. That of course was not the only reason Carl married me. But, it didn’t hurt.

Jim passed away a few years ago. His firm carries on with capable and talented stewards. For me he is ever reaching forward, planting a delicate shoot,….and laughing.

Pamela Heyne is an architect and owner of Heyne Design on the Eastern Shore. She is author of the recent book “In Julia’s Kitchen, Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child.” She can be reached at  pam@heynedesign.com  or 410-714-9040

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pamela Heyne, AIA
a Saint Michaels and Wash.,DC architect and
head of Heyne Design
is author of In Julia’s Kitchen, Practical and Convivial Kitchen Design Inspired by Julia Child

Spy House of the Week: In Easton Village on Hemmersley Street

Easton Village’s master plan was created during the peak of the New Urbanism movement. One of the New Urbanism principles found in this house is its quality architecture (correct scale and proportion, etc). The master plan also placed the larger houses on the corners to anchor the streetscape.

I am always drawn to houses that have deep porches and this house’s front porch has plenty of space for furniture and circulation. I especially liked the street elevation with its center gable that breaks up the roofline, the proportions of the windows in relation to the surrounding wall space and the hipped porch roof that draws your eye upward to the front gable.

The floor plan is zoned well for family living with its ground floor master and upper floor family room.  Many of the rooms have pitched ceilings and the open floor plan on the ground floor allows plenty of daylight to penetrate into the interior rooms.

 

 

For more information about this property, contact Chuck Mangold, Jr., with Benson and Mangold at 410-924-8832, or mangold@bensonandmangold.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. 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 Habitat Price Points: What $701,000 to $1,000,000 Buys You in Talbot County

This week’s feature is a property listed for $865,000 at 105 Cherry Street in St. Michaels.

When I moved to the Eastern Shore, my first apartment was above one of the retail shops. I enjoyed my daily walks through the historic district with my beloved Sheltie as I admired the range of architectural styles of the houses. This house’s traditional color palette of white siding, red metal roof and black shutters was very appealing.

I liked the house’s commanding presence on its large corner lot and how its massing is scaled down by the hipped roofs of the house and front porch. The house has been renovated with care to preserve the historic character of the interior spaces with its many fireplaces, and details like the clawfoot tub and the Victorian style front and rear porches.

For details about this property contact Kate Koeppen  with Chesapeake Bay Real Estate Plus at 410-829-0705  or katekoeppen@lovsmre.com  

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 Habitat Case Study: Enniskillen Road in Easton

The Enniskillen property dates from 1880 and had been in one family for many years. The new owners wished to update the house for themselves and their seven-year old daughter as a weekend and summer retreat. They retained the design team of Atelier 11 Architects of Easton, Interior Designer Lisa Bartolomel of Washington, DC, and Landscape Designer Jan Kirsh of Bozman to collaborate with them on a major renovation that affected all three floors of the historic house.

 

The architects’ first goal was to open up the central part of the house to the waterfront. The rear den faced the water but had only one window. The den was extended and transformed with a graceful curved wall of windows with 180 degree views to the Tred Avon river. The kitchen was relocated from the front of the house to the former den to create a large space for cooking, informal dining and seating area for family relaxation.PIX #3 &# 4The architects improved circulation on the first floor in two ways.  First they took space from the rear screened porch to create a short hall that connected the entrance hall and main stair with the new kitchen area.  Skylights were added so the formal dining room would not lose daylight from the rear porch.The architects then added a porch with a door to the lawn beyond and mud room next to the relocated kitchen. The garage was extended to create a corridor from the new rear door to the front “service” door with access to a new laundry room, coat closets, other storage and the new kitchen area.

On the second floor, the master bedroom became a suite with the addition of new walk-in closets and storage. The third floor unfinished attic became the domain of the Owners’ young daughter and guests.


The pergola and pool house were also new additions.  The pool house is a “mini-house” complete with fireplace, sitting, kitchen, and loft sleeping areas. The curved outdoor shower echoes the new bowfront family room in the main house and the breakfast area in the pool house.  Interiors:  Interior Designer Lisa Bartolomel worked with the Owners to create a serene color palette of cream, dusty rose and sage green with splashes of color. The kitchen’s white cabinets, granite counters and wood floors create a bright and inviting space.

The kitchen is an integral part of the light filled informal dining and seating area that makes this space the hub of the house.Comfortable upholstered pieces are mixed with wood tables and chests throughout the house in keeping with the warm and inviting look.Landscape Design:

Jan Kirsh was fortunate to have a stunning site on the Tred Avon River with an established backdrop of mature specimen trees that had sheltered the house for over 100 years to inspire her design. She added a complex plant palette with selections to introduce native plants, texture and seasonal color. The gardens were renovated to become  “outdoor rooms” for family gatherings and entertaining friends.The flow of the gardens was designed to entice the owners and guests along the axis from the main house to the surrounding patios, the spacious pool area and broad lawn beyond to the Tred Avon River. She worked closely with the architects to firmly establish a strong visual connection between the house and pool house.

Credits:  Atelier 11 Architects, Easton, MD   Lisa Bartolomel, Washington DC   Jan Kirsh, Landscape Designer, Bozman, MD   Doug Bale of D& D Development  The property is now for sale.  For information contact Barb Watkins of Benson and  Mangold at 410-310-2021 or barc.c.watkins@gmakil.com

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: Presqu’ile and Historic Perfection

Talbot County has many distinctive manor houses with their tree-lined drives leading to secluded waterfront sites. This property intrigued me since it is on the market for the first time in over fifty years and its historic exterior and interior have been carefully preserved.  

Part of the reason for such intrigue is the fabulous history that comes with Presqu’ile. The home of such well known Talbot residents as the Vermilye family, former U.S. Secretary in the Interior Rogers C.B. Morton, and later, his daughter, the late Babes Wyman, who was the celebrated hostess of countless house parties there for over fifty years.

I can imagine entering the gracious entrance hall and admiring its large arched doorways leading to the main rooms. One of the sitting rooms with its fireplace, tall window and bookcases was especially appealing to this avid reader. I also appreciated that the kitchen and baths have been upgraded without losing details like the transom window above one of the bathroom doors and the butler’s pantry with its original cabinet hardware.

Most of all I could daydream about an afternoon relaxing in the boathouse surrounded by the expansive Wye River vistas.

For more information about this property, contact Cliff Meredith with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6272. (v), 410-924-0082 (c), or mre@goeaston.net.

Environmental Concern Celebrates 45 Years with Upcoming Native Plant Sale

In celebration of 45 years working for wetlands, water quality and beneficial habitat, Environmental Concern (EC) will offer the largest selection of quality native plants in the region at their upcoming Fall Native Plant Sale. Join the EC staff for a festival of the senses – see the vivid red bloom on the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis); smell the scent of the wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa); and hear the birds, bees and bullfrogs that live in our wetland habitats.

EC’s native wetland plant nursery was the first of its kind in the nation – long before wetlands were accepted as anything but mosquito infested swamps. Since 1972, EC has expanded from a group of interns and biologists working out of an oversized garage to a 6 acre horticulture, education, and restoration facility.

EC’s campus, located at the headwaters of the San Domingo Creek, now supports 19 greenhouses, a wetland education building with classroom and creative activity spaces; a seed propagation and research workspace; the technology and resources required to provide wetland restoration design and construction services, and over 20 full time employees – all focused on improving water quality and increasing crucial habitat in the Chesapeake Bay.

Thanks to the support of the community, students, teachers, businesses and our partners, since 1972 EC has educated over 40,000 teachers, students and community members; propagated, grown and planted over 30 million native plants on shorelines and landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; restored over 1.6 million sq. ft. of eroded shorelines and constructed hundreds of ponds, rain gardens and other types of stormwater management facilities.

With your help, we’re continuing our mission to increase the quantity of native species in our local habitats, and in your gardens. We invite the public to join EC for the 16 th annual Fall Native Plant Sale and Open House. In addition to the plant sale, Community Workshops will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 am each day. “Monarch Rearing” is the feature presentation on Friday, September 8 th , and “Late Season Nectar Sources for Monarchs” will be offered on Saturday, September 9th. Participants will see the Monarch caterpillars munching on milkweed. If the time is right, you may see a Monarch emerging from its chrysalis. What is the chrysalis? Pre-register for the workshops at www.wetland.org to find out!

This fall, we have invited Eat Sprout to join us on Saturday. Eat Sprout will be offering delicious, breakfast and lunch specials for purchase. Enjoy a leisurely lunch while enjoying the serenity of the San Domingo Creek.

EC’s Campus is located at 201 Boundary Lane in historic St. Michaels. The sale hours are Friday, September 8 th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 9 th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Visit www.wetland.org for more information

Spy Habitat Price Points: What $100,000-$400,000 Buys You in Talbot County

When I first moved to the Eastern Shore, I looked for a rental in Neavitt. I thought the village  had great appeal with its mix of cottages and new houses, community park, public boat ramp, and proximity to St. Michaels shops and restaurants.  

I love the diminutive scale of cottages. One of Neavitt’s many cottages is this charmer that has also been remodeled for the perfect weekend retreat. Its open floor plan, vaulted ceiling with skylights and the screened porch create great spaces for relaxation. Kids of all ages will love the privacy of the second floor loft. The property is also a licensed vacation rental.  

For more information about this property, contact Debra Crouch with Benson and Mangold at 410-924-0771 or dcrouch@bensonandmangold.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 exclusively based on her experience as a trained 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.