Step inside this one-story home in Mayfield and it's as though you're stepping back in time.
The Art Deco lake house at 2105 Erdman Ave. is on the market for $250,000. The 1,189-square-foot home has two bedrooms, one full bathroom and a half-bath, and it sits on a 8,581-square-foot lot.
A few houses down from Lake Montebello, owner Frank Pratka said you can see the water from the living room and master bedroom windows. It has an open floor plan that flows from one room into the next. And with plenty of outdoor space (there's a patio and large yard), "it's a great place to have parties," he said.
The home was designed and built in the 1940s by Baltimore attorney Benjamin Eisenberg.
"He use to like to travel to tropical locations, and he liked that style of architecture, which in South Florida and Southern California and some Caribbean areas is pretty common," Pratka said of Eisenberg. "It's very not common in Northeastern cities like Baltimore."
The house is painted light green with a darker green trim — colors appropriate to the late 1940s and 1950s, Pratka said. And the outside perfectly fits the atmosphere inside.
Vibrant colors such as light green, yellow and pink are central throughout the home. Pratka decorated it with mid-century furniture from the late 1940s to late '60s that he's collected over the years. A dresser in the bedroom and chest of drawers in the dining room are original to the home. Those will stay, and Pratka said his furniture will be negotiable for purchase.
The home also includes radiant heat in the floors, a new central air and heat unit and a sunroom that Pratka says was originally a greenhouse. There's also a built-in overhang, called an "eyebrow," that stops direct sun from coming in through the windows. Other features include built-in bookcases in the living room and kitchen areas, and a bamboo forest Pratka planted outside to act as a fence for privacy.
So how did Pratka score this find?
He said he just happened to come across the house one day. He knocked on the door, but no one answered. So he left a note saying if the home was ever available, he would be interested. And about six months later, he got a phone call from one of the owner's sons.
Pratka rented the home for a couple of years. He negotiated a sale and bought it in 1985, and has lived there ever since.
"Mayfield is a great hidden neighborhood right in the center of Baltimore that very few people even know exists," Pratka said.
Most homes in Mayfield are 1800, early 1900 farm-style or Victorian homes with front porches. He said his is the only one-story Art Deco house in the neighborhood, and one of the few ones in the city.
That's what attracted him to the home when he first saw it.
"It was totally unlike any other house," he said. "It just stood out."