History and elegance in Mount Vernon

The Baltimore Sun

Amid the stately elegance of Mount Vernon's tree-covered squares and rows of city mansions, the home of Maureen and Louis Van Dyck, an 1854 Federal-style rowhouse, stands out for what it has on top: an outdoor living area with ipe wood decking and a stainless-steel lined pool. What's on the bottom is even more tempting for city dwellers: a spacious two-car garage.

The modern yet vintage interior of the home is the beautiful bonus. "It's a very cutting-edge house and we've kind of continued that tradition," says Maureen, who worked closely with an architect to renovate the space, which once housed a dentist's office.

The Van Dycks, who are selling the home so they can spend more time traveling, have lived in Mount Vernon for more than 15 years. When they decided to buy a home, they didn't want to leave the urban area, and they also didn't want to compromise. "We wanted a large house like you could have in the suburbs," Maureen says. And with three levels plus a basement, the house definitely has what they were looking for: size.

The house feels open and modern with many industrial elements, including stunning 12-foot-tall sliding-glass walls that hide kitchen clutter -- such as the stove and refrigerator -- and also reflect the movement of the pool just outside the doors.

"It's really a Federalist house," Maureen says. "Kind of minimal."

Also, just outside a third-floor window: a view of the Washington Monument. It's good to be at the top.

About this house --Purchased in 1999 and renovated over a couple of years, the home garnered an American Institute of Architects -- Baltimore Award for innovative design in 2001. Above the garage are two brick-patterned letter H's, a legacy of a prior owner believed to be Henry Harvey, who presided over Baltimore's Shot Tower.

Address --831 Park Ave., Baltimore 21201

Asking price --$1.35 million

Taxes --$13,349

Size --The home is about 5,400-square-feet and has four bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. The rowhouse sits on a lot of about .09 acres.

Features --In addition to the pool, there's a spa to go with it. A brick loggia above the garage offers an outdoor dining area. There are six fireplaces, including two marble fireplaces that grace the double parlor. Another warms the master bedroom suite, which opens onto a media room with a film projector. The master suite also includes a spacious dressing room. Another area features a large home office, which could be converted to an au pair suite.

Where --Mount Vernon area of Baltimore City

Listing agent --Karen Fick, Long and Foster, 410-752-1224 (office) or 443-956-0646 (cell).


To submit a candidate for Desirable Spaces, send color high-resolution photos with caption information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Michelle Deal-Zimmerman, Features, Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Questions may be sent to homes@baltsun.com.

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