Spy House of the Week: A Perfect “Ten” on Aurora


I can’t resist the charm of houses from another era. This house, circa 1885, intrigued me with its modified American Four-Square style and Victorian details had great curb appeal. The house was built by local realtor Bob Shanahan’s great- uncle Jesse Edward Shanahan and the current owner is only the fourth steward of this unique house.

Two distinctive brick chimneys with their corbeled brick caps rose from a multi-planed hipped roof that extended over two-story bay window wings. A low slope metal roof covered the welcoming front porch. The two half-moon decorative attic windows and the large windows opened the house to its surroundings and filled the interiors with light. There were two other porches, one off the main stair that led to the rear yard and the other was off the dining room for al-fresco dining. The original shed at the rear alley was expanded to a four-car garage across the full width of the property which gave privacy for the rear yard.

The vista from the front door ended at a graceful arched full-height wall opening trimmed in stained wood that beckoned you further to discover the main “U” shaped stair with its beautiful carved balustrade with light from a window at the landing. The main floor ceilings soared to over eleven feet and the eight foot door and window headers were perfectly proportioned for the interior height.

Flanking the entrance hall was a parlor with its bay window and fireplace and another sitting room used as a family TV room. I loved the large kitchen with its cheerful blue and white color scheme. As an architect who has designed many kitchens, I especially appreciated how the kitchen was modernized without compromising the original window and door openings. The master bedroom was nestled in one of the bay windowed rooms and the large bath with period fixtures made a charming master suite.

The rear part of the house was a former servants’ quarters and a second stair accessed this part of the house. The full attic is an unfinished gem with its dramatic interior architecture formed by the hipped roof and gable wings.

The beautifully proportioned rooms, exquisite wood work and period detailing and fixtures from another era make this magnificent residence at 9 Aurora Street a perfect “10.”


For more information about this property, please contact Mary Losty with Benson and Mangold at 410-770-9255 (o), 215-920-3595 (c), or Mlosty@bensonandmangold.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”. Photography courtesy of Eve Fishell of Chesapeake Pro Photo, LLC.

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.

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