Glenelg manor has fallout shelter

The Baltimore Sun

Tucked in Howard County's hills is a stone house that speaks to three eras:

First, the 1800s, when it was built as a cottage for an estate's gardener; then the Cold War era, when an underground fallout shelter was built; and recent years, when the house was remodeled by owners John and Sandi Riegert with updated amenities.

The Glenelg Manor Farm is on the Howard County Historic Sites Inventory, its fieldstone quarried from nearby Ellicott City. The house has long been parceled off from the estate that once included it, property that is now the Glenelg Country School and a residential subdivision.

A quirk of the house dates not to the 19th century, but the 1900s: a fallout shelter, hand-dug in the aftermath of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis by then-owner Dale Maisel. It is an encapsulated mini-residence, with 24-foot-thick concrete foundation walls, a back-up well pump and thick steel door.

Recent renovations have given the house zoned heating, as well as an upscale new kitchen and energy-efficient period windows.

That John Riegert is a contractor gave him an edge in doing the work himself. He also supplemented existing detail work. "My husband handmade all of the moldings and all of the trim," Sandi Riegert said.

The attic was rebuilt as a bedroom and loft, eliminating pull-down stairs.

About the house --The Georgian Colonial was built circa 1860 for Gen. Joseph Washington Tyson and his wife, Louisa. The Glenelg Manor Castle, now part of the Glenelg Country School, was his home. The stone housewas the gardener's residence. Tyson served as assistant postmaster general under President John Tyler. He is credited for bringing the name Glenelg to the area, naming his estate after a Scottish castle.

In 1915, the estate was sold to William Bladen Lowndes, a bank president and the son of Maryland Gov. Lloyd Lowndes. A 1942 sale put the house in the hands of brothers George and Roland Zaiser, who ran a dairy farm there. In 1960, they sold the property to their nephew, Dale Maisel.

In the mid-1960s, Maisel sold the manor house to the school but kept the stone house. The current owners bought it last year.

Address --4317 Maisel Farm Lane, Ellicott City, 21042.

Asking price --$999,900

Taxes --$4,962

Size --The three-story house has about 3,300 square feet and sits on about an acre.

Features --A fountain is at the center of the circular driveway. The recently added 9-foot-by-50-foot front porch has a mahogany floor.

Inside, the house retains many original qualities, including an interior wall more than a foot thick. Ceilings are 11 feet with crown molding; other detail work includes panels and four working fireplaces. The first floor has a great room and an eat-in kitchen with custom maple cabinets, built-in storage and granite countertops. It has been nominated for a kitchen remodeling award.

Four bedrooms and a loft-style playroom occupy the second and attic floors. The third story has no windows, but natural light comes through large skylights. Original heart of pine floors are upstairs, and the downstairs floors are reclaimed heart of pine.

The master bathroom has a marble spa shower with seating and a claw-foot tub. The owners are adding a family room to the back of the house.

A swimming pool is included, but there is no garage.

Listing agent --Creig Northrop and The Northrop Team, Long & Foster, 410-531-0321.

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