Spy House of the Week: Mansfield House


The Charles H. Mansfield house, circa 1875, is a classic two-story side entry-parlor Victorian that is one of the most popular styles found throughout St. Michaels’ Historic District. In the late 90’s, the original rear wing was expanded and an addition built along the Chew St side. The addition is connected by a one-story hyphen and the end wing has a gable facing the street to break down the massing and to minimize its impact on the original historic structure. The other side of the addition faces the side yard that is surrounded by a privacy fence. This house is a landmark during the holiday season and I enjoy driving past the huge holly tree at the corner of the house that is illuminated by strings of colorful lights.

The Mansfields would recognize many period details that have been carefully maintained such as the turn doorbell at the side door, the ornamental escutcheon plates on the original doors, the high ceilings, built-ins, beautiful hardwood floors, stairs with winders, interior transoms above doorways and stained glass accents.  The full front porch with its fretwork on each side of turned columns and decorative railing has also been preserved to maintain the historic streetscape. The porch has maximum seating space since the entry door is at the side, offering front row seats to all the holiday parades throughout the year.

Most of the rooms have large windows on at least two sides for daylight throughout the day and even on the overcast day when I visited, the rooms were bright. The house flows well from the front living room to the dining room, kitchen and sunroom. The sunroom and the rear spacious master suite are part of the addition and overlook the private enclosed outdoor room containing hardscape and planting beds. The master suite’s high pitched ceilings add character to the space and stained glass panels allow light to filter in while maintaining privacy. The addition also enlarged the dining room with its original fireplace and a large pantry. I could well imagine having cocktails on the terrace and then moving into the spacious dining room that could seat ten to twelve for  dinner.

The second floor layout creates private suites separated by the stairs. The two front rooms could be a bedroom and sitting room or the smaller of the front rooms could be a nursery or study.  The rear suite is a spacious second master with generous closet space and a dressing area.

A historic house with modern amenities, additions that greatly increased the livable area, private outdoor space and across the street from Gina’s Restaurant and the Mill shops-great property!

For more information about this property, contact Kate Koeppen with Chesapeake Bay Real Estate Plus, LLC,  at 410-745-6702 (o), 410-829-0705 (c) or katekoeppen@lovsmre.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.


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