April 18, 2009

All the Pretty Houses*

My friend Julie and I got together this morning and took a walk through one of Baltimore's prettiest neighbourhoods, Guilford. It is about the same era as Roland Park where I grew up, but it has a very different character. While Olmsted shaped Roland Park to fit in with the coutours of the land, and left lots of untamed space (at least untamed as far as being in a city), Guilford is more formal and manicured. Compare these houses with the ones from Billy's Neighbourhood and you will get a whole different feeling.

In the center of Guilford is a large six-acre park called Sherwood Gardens, donated by a former resident whose home sits on the property. It is planted with more than 80,000 tulips, as well as azaleas, boxwood, wisteria and magnolias. It is open to the public with no fences and no admission. It's a perfect place for a spring day.
As we walked through the gardens and then around the neighbourhood, I took some pictures to share with you. Enjoy!

This house looks like it's being worked on. Check out the massive urns on the front lawn. Here's a side view of the house. You can see the great trellis and the amazing slate roof. I also love all of the six-over-six windows.
We loved all of the windows on the back of this house. There's a small window up against the chimney on the left of the picture and loads of other details that make it special.
How clever of someone to make sure the little MG matches the colour on the shutters of this house. Is it all British Racing Green? Here's the front of a gorgeous house. Very classic with the divided staircase and the little grotto. It doesn't look terribly huge... until you see it from the side! It's hard to see, but just above and to the left of the man, there's some beautiful swagging. It's on the market for $1.8 million. Click here to see the listing and some interior pictures. Apparently, it's been in the same family for 45 years, so it needs some updating.

What do you think of this house?I am uncertain about it. It's painted a very dark grey (the picture below is more accurate) with a deeper greenish-grey trim. From the side, it's quite blocky looking, but from the front, it's got some terrific details.

Stay tuned for some other great houses, including the one I liked the best...

*with apologies to Cormac McCarthy.


  1. love a house voyeur tour! great neighborhood.

    i actually like the severity of the last home, but the landscaping to do with some updating to help things along. a couple of trees in teh yard could do wonders.

    thanks, meg!

  2. Oh - that Georgian with the split stair is amazing!! I can't believe the price is only $1.8M. A comparable house near Boston would be $3-5M easily.

  3. Great house tour! I too can't believe that Georgian is only 1.8! I guess if I had 1.8 it wuold be a steal!! Can't figure out those huge urn-things in the front of the house in the fourth photo?! Seem a little out of character for that wonderful home.
    I think the last house is lovely- just needs a new paint job, landscaping and some big trees!
    Thanks for the tour! joan

  4. We were there yesterday, too! We noticed many of the same houses, including the one with the big urns.
    It was so nice to see all the people there in the afternoon - lots of families, but even some groups of teenagers and college kids were out. It was beautiful! Thanks to the person who started the park, whoever it was!

  5. Such wonderful houses and gardens! Thanks for the neighborhood tour, Meg.


  6. Pretty houses. I think I could examine houses all day long. Thanks for sharing your tour.

  7. I really like your site!
    The only thing... I wished your photos could be enlarged :-(

  8. What a beautiful neighbourhood! And it looks like it was a lovely day to be out with a friend too.

    PS Love Cormac McCarthy :-)

  9. So lovely! I remember going to the tulip digs at Sherwood Gardens!

  10. That's definitely a neighborhood of great houses and Saturday was the perfect day to wander through it.

    By the way, love the current header.

  11. I'm enjoying your walking tours. I have mixed feelings about the gray house, and I've got nothing against the darkness of it, as much as the lack of landscaping. Having seen Grey Gardens last night on HBO, let's just say "It's in good shape."

  12. I never knew Baltimore was so gorgeous! I always associate it with that movie. and i;m blanking on the name of it!!!

  13. I just found your blog via Maison 21 and I am lovng it ... especially this walking tour as I am an afficionado of charming neighborhoods and architectural detail. Thank you!

  14. My old stompin grounds from my Loyola days! Drove thru last month and was slightly depressed over the apparant decline in upkeep. Sign-o-the times I guess...


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