Baltimore dream home: Homeland house was filming location for 'The Wire'
By Kit Waskom Pollard
Special to The Baltimore Sun|
Mar 02, 2017 | 6:40 AM
Discovering something new about a home during the closing process is often a cause for concern.
Not so for Annie and Neal Goldman.
When the couple closed on their home in 2012, they found out that they were buying more than a pretty four-bedroom house in Homeland. Turns out their new home is a piece of Baltimore pop culture history. At closing, they learned the house, which was built in 1920, was used as a filming location for "The Wire," HBO's critically acclaimed television show that chronicled Baltimore's drug trade and other societal problems.
The Goldman's house appeared in several episodes during seasons three and four as the home of Tommy and Jen Carcetti. The show follows the political rise of Tommy Carcetti, played by Irish actor Aidan Gillen, from Baltimore city councilman to mayor to governor.
In the show, the home was primarily used as a setting to show Tommy interacting with his family. The living room, family room, kitchen and bedrooms all make appearances. A different house was used for outside shots, so the Goldman's mossy green, traditional exterior does not appear on the show.
The third-season episode "Homecoming," showcases the open kitchen/family room layout — a rarity in Homeland and one of the home's big draws for the Goldmans.
When they moved to Homeland from a Harbor East apartment, shortly before their first son, Tanner, now 41/2, was born, they made a family-friendly floor plan a priority. (Since moving in, the Goldmans have had a second son, Duke, now 21/2.)
"We have an open floor plan in the back, which is what we wanted," Annie Goldman said. "We were coming from an apartment downtown that was perfect — finished bathrooms, beautiful kitchen, everything working."
In the fourth-season finale, "Final Grades," Tommy and Jen Carcetti have a conversation about Tommy's political future in the home's living room. The scene is brief, but it captures some of the room's most notable features, including a white fireplace flanked by built-in bookshelves and swirling architectural details on the sides of the steps up to the second floor.
Today, the Goldmans spend most of their time in the open kitchen and family room area; the boys' toys are stored there and large windows let in plenty of natural light.
The front rooms also are flooded with natural light, but the decor is a bit more grown-up, including shelves stacked with books and a generously appointed bar cart in the dining room.
"The back is where our playroom is, where we spend 70 percent of our time," Annie Goldman said. "The front of the house is very peaceful and quiet. The back is where our children are."
Decked out in cheery colors and patterned furniture, both the front and back of the house convey Goldman's upbeat, preppy aesthetic. She runs a monogramming business, Later Alligator Boutique, out of the home. Her work is scattered throughout the home, starting with a bright-pink monogram on the light blue front door.
The furniture comes from a mix of places, from Pottery Barn to family members. She chooses family-friendly pieces that are sturdy and durable, and has covered several older pieces with new fabric in bright, fun patterns. (The Waltherson company About Time Upholstery is her go-to upholstery resource.)
Bright colors and patterns lift her mood, she said, and they're practical. "They're fun, but also hide stains."
The bright aesthetic extends to the artwork scattered throughout the house, which includes several paintings by Claire Bogusz, a local artist who operates under the name Sea Bee Designs.
Bogusz's work includes a large, abstract blue and gray painting gracing the calm blue walls of the Goldman dining room, a vibrant painting of pineapples in the kitchen and, in the playroom, a painting of the boys, decked out in Under Armour gear.
Neal Goldman works for Under Armour, and, unsurprisingly, the company's familiar logo can be spotted in photos here and there throughout the house.
The house itself was only part of the draw for the Goldmans; the neighborhood helps make their house a "dream home." Annie Goldman grew up in Homeland, so she has long been familiar with its charms.
"I grew up about two blocks away," she said. "Some of the pictures we have of our kids at the lake, we have the same pictures of me, which is cute."
Annie Goldman is not the only Homeland native who was drawn to move back to her old stomping grounds. In early 2015, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and his wife, Katie Curran O'Malley, bought a home in the neighborhood, where Judge O'Malley grew up.
Martin O'Malley was an inspiration for "Wire" character of Tommy Carcetti, according to the show's creator, David Simon. However, his move to the neighborhood where Carcetti's home scenes were filmed should probably not be taken as a sign that the former governor wants to identify with the character. Despite his recent real estate choices, O'Malley is reportedly not a fan of the show or of comparisons between his career and Carcetti's fictional one.
The Goldman's decision to move to Homeland — and this home in particular — was driven by the neighborhood and the home's layout and attractiveness, not its television history.
Still, though it's been over a decade since the episodes originally aired, living in "Carcetti's house" is a fun story to share.