"After we got some money together, we had to make some decisions," Knowles said.
One of the renovations is the installation of three Italian marble fireplaces on the main floor.
"It adds an elegance to this house that this house can carry," said his daughter, Barbara Wallick.
The half-dozen remaining fireplaces have the original slate and tile the original builders installed at some point during its 10-year construction, Knowles said.
Wallick never lived in the house as a child. She did take up residence for three years in one of the servant's quarters on the third floor when she went to Catonsville Community College in the early 1970s.
Despite having to go to sleep in the winter wearing a sweater and jeans, Wallick said she appreciated the house's quirks.
"I think it was the uniqueness of having history around me," Wallick said. "It wasn't like anybody's house I knew. And yet it always felt warm and friendly."
The house now has a two-year-old furnace and sleeping in full clothing is no longer required, Wallick noted.
Though a new furnace makes the place warmer, the house still has rope beds in several bedrooms.
Wallick recalled how after a few months on the rope bed, her mattress sagged nearly to the floor because she didn't know that she needed to tighten the ropes each month.
As a final send off to the house that meant so much to them, Knowles and his daughter threw a goodbye party for 30 family members and friends on May 6.
Wallick hired a bagpipe player as a surprise to her father, who is of Scottish descent.
"I'm glad I got to live there for those three years," Wallick said. "It was really special.
"I hope (the buyer is) somebody who loves history and loves the house and will pass it on from generation to generation," she said.
For Knowles, the sale of the house doesn't signal the end of its persistent maintenance, just the passing along of the
little joys that someone only touring the house could never fully appreciate.
"All the little things I had to do, just taking care of the house, cutting the grass and doing the 100 little things to take care
of the house," Knowles said of what he will miss about the house.
"I'm just glad to get it restored and that somebody who appreciates the place will keep up the work," Knowles said.
The house's historic nature presents a challenge, said Jeremy Walsh of the Catonsville office of Coldwell Banker,
which is the listing agent.
"We have to tailor the marketing to a specific sort of buyer," Walsh said.
"I hope (the buyer is) somebody who loves history and loves the house and will pass it on from generation to generation,"
"He's just a historian at heart," she said. "He took care of the house and feels like that is his legacy. He made sure that house