Architects' Serene Settings

October 06, 1991

THE VERY PERSONAL SEARCH FOR A SENSE OF belonging means different things to different people. Two Baltimore architects, Steve Glassman of Art and Architectural Design and Frank Dittenhafer of Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects, did it by crafting homesteads for themselves in Pennsylvania.

For architect Frank Dittenhafer and his graphic designer wife Sue Ann Kline, a graduate of the Maryland Institute, home is a 200-year-old clapboard house in the historic district of Shrewsbury, Pa.

"I've had a love affair with Baltimore all my life," he says. "It's just that my heart will always be in York County. Both of us grew up in Dover, north of York, so we felt a strong sense of community. tTC Shrewsbury is small enough that our roots are there and we wanted to remain."

They appreciate the feeling not uncommon in small towns, that of not being isolated, of being able to contribute to the community in a more personal way than would have been possible in a city.

About the house, he says, "It's a small, simple house, a true expression of how people lived in the late 18th and 19th century. My wife and I find a lot of beauty in the simplicity, the shape and the construction."

Architect and art guru Stephen A. Glassman, principal of Art and Architectural Design, whose extravagantly remodeled Baltimore parish house residence and gallery elicits a wide range of emotional response from visitors, thrives on the contrast between the excitement of urban and the serenity of country living. His 23-acre farm, 10 miles outside of Gettysburg, provides him with a much-needed sense of peace and a necessary distance from the frenetic pace of a highly successful professional life in Baltimore. Reputed by neighbors to be the site of the invention of Plexiglas, one of the farm's buildings is indeed the only building in the area to boast windows made of very old acrylic..

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