February 1, 2013

F. Scott’s House for Sale

The house where F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived in Baltimore, and where he lived when wrote “Tender is the Night” has just been put up for sale in the Bolton Hill neighbourhood where I worked until very recently. It’s listed at a very reasonable $450,000. image

The house was built in 1900 and has four bedrooms over four levels, including a basement, with two full bathrooms, two half baths, three decorative fireplaces, a garage, built-in bookshelves and a decorative plaque that certifies that Fitzgerald lived there. It’s about 3,600 square feet. It's been on the market for four days, and an open house is scheduled on February 3, from noon until 2:00 p.m.

Fitzgerald lived in this house from 1933 until 1935, while his wife Zelda was being treated for various mental health issues at Sheppard Pratt Hospital and the Phipps Clinic at Johns Hopkins.

The house had great bones and retains many original features like the fireplace and shutters you can see in this crappy image, but I am not at all wild about the colours or the décor.


Here’s the detail of the fireplace.image

I am sure that the current owners have tried to keep traditional Victorian décor in the house,image but it looks like it needs updating, nevertheless.image

Seriously, real estate agents… if you’re listing a house that is bound to get a lot of press, at least take decent pictures. Hire a professional photographer. Don’t have your damn blind hanging crookedly!image

Put a mattress on the bed, already!image

Don’t have the corner of the doorframe in the picture! This is a huge house, so you should get the shot without a door in it. image

This house has a back garden AND a garage, which is premium in this area of scant parking.image

It’s also got the old wooden porches, which I love.image

It’s an interesting house, in a great in-town neighbourhood, and at a great price. Someone will snap it up quickly.


  1. I love every single part of the house. Wonderful house.

  2. Ah.... F. Scott Fitzgerald, a favorite author of mine, I think I will download Tender is the Night to my Kindle to read after surgery. (send prayers) I am so excited for The Great Gatsby Film to be released! Thanks Meg for this wonderful review of an amazing house.

    Love and Hugs,

    2013 Artists Series

  3. You're right, that estate agent should be embarrassed. In spite of their carelessness, it looks like a great house.

  4. What a great house, with a great story. And that is a fantastic neighborhood. I agree about the photos and the décor...but I like the shade of green in the dining room. Of course, I'm a sucker for green.

  5. That is an amazing price. You're so right about the quality of those photos.

  6. The photos are ridiculous. Why don't realtors go to Target, spend $ 40 on an air mattress and keep it handy for situations like that empty bed frame?

  7. Great house!!! I would open and lighten it all up; keep architectural details; go with a French modern/antique mix and hold parties!!
    Love, Mary

  8. You are so right about the photos, meg. It is a great house! I love those porches also. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  9. He suffered there a great deal ... but at least during those years in Maryland he met Andrew Turnbull ... who would later edit his letters.

    Anyone who truly cares about Fitzgerald should read Scott Donaldson's masterly biography: "A Fool for Love."

    As Dorothy Parker supposedly said by his casket
    in Hollywood, quoting the words from the graveside scene in "The Great Gatsby":

    "The Poor Son-of-a-Bitch."

  10. Unbelievable price. I am tempted to move! Plus you get the ghost of F. Scott.

  11. Oh my God -- my heart just skipped a beat and I forgot even to breathe for a moment. I LOVE Tender is the Night; it's my favorite Fitzgerald novel because you can really feel that shift midstream when Zelda's health was getting worse and the novel gets darker. Favorite quote from that book, as Nicole realizes that her sanity is slipping away: “Think how you love me,' she whispered. 'I don't ask you to love me always like this, but I ask you to remember... I'll be different, but somewhere lost inside me there'll always be the person I am tonight.”

  12. I first read Tender Is the Night when I was about 14 (I still have my copy.) I always remember Nicole's list of things to buy (it's one of the great lists of all time,) her pearls draped down her back on the beach while she looked up recipes for Chicken Maryland.

    As for the photography, I recently looked up a house I had known and saw it was for sale, and they had five pictures of the kitchen, but not one of three of the four bedrooms. Two shots of one bathroom and none of the others, etc. No shots of the yard. These are out of focused, poorly shot, and so many things I would have done to stage those rooms. Like remove that AC window unit, do the bed, etc. Not one shot of the kitchen, and I'm assuming the house has one. I really don't care for how the owners had this house decorated. With the right owner, and some bucks dropped into restoration, the house could be a jewel.

  13. I think I might have to go check this out tomorrow! Thanks for the tip!

  14. I just froze when I saw this, the book is *such* a favorite of mine, wow. Just to see the house and interiors is an enormous treat, despite photo quality. (Although really, the Realtor can't do a better job?!).

    Sending you a smile,

  15. You know, I think I might be content to live next door, in the house on the right side of his in that first photo. Beautiful!

  16. Great house! Mary seems to have some good ideas for fixing it up. Just out of curiosity, Meg, what are the taxes on a home like that in Baltimore?

  17. thank you for showing us this house...like you love the wooden porches

    good luck for the Superbowl ..finger and toes crossed

  18. Wonderfully crisp and always interesting!


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