What P. Paul Cocoros remembers most about boyhood trips from Baltimore to the beach at Cape St. Claire is the large white house with the red roof and the white stallion roaming the front yard.
The unusual house, built by a mortician in the early 1900s, still fascinates him.
"I used to look at this house in awe," said Cocoros, who is renovating the house off Ritchie Highway as office space for his law practice. "There was a white stallion roaming around and a Rolls Royce parked in front. Lots of times, there was a yacht out front, too.
"Itwas a beautiful home back in those days."
In March, Cocoros bought the house, located just south of the Beltway where Brooklyn Park and Glen Burnie meet. Since then, people keep asking him about it wherever he goes.
Some even slip through the construction fence and come up to the house, hoping to get inside for a look.
"If you grew up in Maryland, around Baltimore, you remember that house," he said. "Wherever I go, people ask about it."
The house, which was used fora number of different businesses after being a mortuary and private residence, was scheduled to be torn down and replaced with a low-priced motel, Cocoros said. But before the structure was razed, the one-acre site was "down-zoned," making the construction of a motel impossible.
At the same time, Cocoros was looking around Glen Burnie for a new office space and had almost settled on another property locatedon Crain Highway. But after his real estate agent called and said the house was again on the market, Cocoros decided to buy it.
He struck a deal with the current owners, the John C. Louis Co., to lease the property until renovations were complete, at which time they wouldcomplete the sale.
Bringing the house back to its original state is going to take years and cost at least $200,000, Cocoros said. He expects to get the building, which needs numerous repairs to the plumbing and structure as well as cosmetic work, in good enough shape to move into in January.
He will continue to renovate and repair the house for at least another year once he moves in.
"The place was a mess. It needs a lot of work," he said.
Initially, Cocoros plans to rent some of the 6,000 square feet of space in the 11-room house toa physician and an insurance agent. Eventually, he hopes to relocatehis central law office, now located in Baltimore, to the Glen Burniesite.
Cocoros also has six satellite law offices, including one in Odenton.