Town government or Harford County encouraged to purchase 177-year-old house in Bel Air


The historic brick house at the end of West Gordon Street is a treasure, indeed. Held privately by the Graybeal family for many decades, it was formerly owned by the Kelly family and the Hays family, all founding fathers of Bel Air's rich history.

Anyone who lived in Howard Park knows of this property, which is just down the sledding hill from the Liriodendron mansion. Many have spent pleasant hours playing tennis on the privately-owned clay court, which was open to enjoy. The rolling landscape and towering tulip poplar trees [the Latin name for which is liriodendron] have remained unchanged for decades. The 177-year-old Colonial residence is a wonder to behold, both inside and out.

There was a time when a short walk down the farmland (which is now Howard Park) would find you ice skating at Kelly's pond or to see the horses run at the Bel Air Racetrack (where Harford Mall now stands). These times may be gone, but should not be forgotten.

So now this precious property is available, in fact offered to the town, " for a discount:" a tremendous opportunity that should be seriously considered...if not by the town (even simply for investment reasons) than by the county, to supplement the priceless Liriodendron and Heavenly Waters property areas.

The fact that this land is not protected from hungry self-serving developers and that there is no historic easement protecting this historic Bel Air monument from demolition is nothing short of criminal! Go to the top of the hill at Liriodendron...look out..and dream...It is peaceful there, better still, bring your tennis racquet.

It should be noted that I have lived next to this property for more than 50 years.

I know and love it very well.

Jonathan West

Bel Air

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