A 'grand house' in Butchers Hill

The Baltimore Sun

The view from Butchers Hill -- atop a three-level veranda with restored wrought iron scrollwork -- is a sweeping panoramic shot of downtown Baltimore, the harbor and Patterson Park.

The inside of this hilltop house is also striking in scope and architectural detail, evoking the historic prosperity of a neighborhood that predates the Civil War.

Over the decades, Butchers Hill was known as a home for tradesmen, industrialists, merchants and professionals.

"This was a grand house," said owner Todd Vaughan, who has restored several other houses on the street.

Its entry alone is telltale: The house number is in stained glass, and the foyer is lined in shades of white and red marble.

But, Vaughan said, this semi-detached house -- high on the hill, four stories tall, and with ornamentation everywhere -- makes it among "the grandest in this whole area."

He finished a two-year restoration of his home this spring and has nearly completed rehabbing another a few doors away.

The high ceilings on the main floor have lavish embellishment; crown moldings are elaborate and deep.

"We rebuilt a lot of this stuff," Vaughan said, pointing to scrollwork on corbels on the main floor and other decorative cast plaster.

Gilded gargoyles, made of cast plaster and rehabbed by hand, surround the living room chandelier on the main floor.

The plaster design around the dining room chandelier depicts fruit and corn in beige and brown tones.

The house has five sets of 10-foot-tall mahogany pocket doors, some with etched glass.

The eat-in kitchen's location is unusual. Vaughan kept it on the basement level because it was the site of the original kitchen. He also kept the curved glass in the oversized windows.

But there are many modernizations, such as, steps from the kitchen door, there is a former outhouse that serves as a garden shed.

An elevator that can hold four people has replaced the dumbwaiter and some bathroom space.

About the house --The brick house was built in 1878, making it one of the older residences in Butchers Hill. A drawing on an upstairs wall, uncovered during renovations, has 1883 scribbled on it.

The house has four bedrooms. Two are suites, one with a dressing room or walk-through closet that leads to a bathroom with a claw-foot tub.

The fourth floor has a room that could be used for entertaining; a C-shaped wet bar is built into a corner and a door opens onto the top level of the veranda.

Address --2223 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, 21231

Asking price --$999,000

Taxes --$4,962

Size --The house has about 5,000 square feet.

Features --The house has seven fireplaces, all of which originally burned coal. Two of them have been turned into working gas fireplaces. Their styles vary -- some are brick and others are marble.

There are three full bathrooms and three half-baths. The kitchen has black and gray granite countertops, and the eat-in area can hold a table for eight.

Windows facing the street have interior wood shutters that vanish when opened, collapsing into pockets in the walls. Doorways from rooms to the halls have deep transoms. Most floors are original oak.

The house has three zoned heating systems and two hot-water heaters.

Listing agent --Cindy Conklin, 410-727-0606, Yerman, Witman, Gaines and Garceau.


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