Owings House makes preservation list

June 09, 1995|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,Sun Staff Writer

The Samuel Owings House, one of the oldest in Baltimore County, won a place last night on the county's landmarks preservation list -- a development that will delay plans to move the house and build offices on the site.

The county Landmarks Preservation Commission's 9-0 vote also means that Richard Pirone can continue to run the Fiori Restaurant and Wine Cellar Pub at the house. He and a partner have been operating restaurants in the house for 18 years.

With the house now on a temporary preservation list, the structure must stay put until the County Council votes on the issue this year, or in early 1996.

Owners of the house, which was built in 1767, want to move the building to an undisclosed location and build a nine-story, $20 million office tower on the site, at Dolfield and Painters Mill roads in Owings Mills.

If the County Council upholds the action by the all-volunteer commission, the owners, Painters Mill Associates (No. 1), must adhere to last night's ruling indefinitely. But if the council rejects the action, the owners could get a chance to build the office tower in Painters Mill Executive Park.

They say the site is appropriate because other offices are there.

Vicky Almond, president of the Reisterstown Owings Mills Glyndon Coordinating Council, was cautiously optimistic after last night's vote.

"I am so pleased, absolutely pleased," she said. Mrs. Almond also said, "I felt the committee would do the right thing . . . now we have to work on the County Council."

Attorney Howard L. Alderman Jr. asked that the vote be postponed until one of the owners, who he represents, could be present. But that request was denied.

When asked about the fate of the tower, Mr. Alderman said: "I believe the nine-story building can still be built under circumstances of obtaining the proper building permits."

He said the owners will consider building the tower while the house remains there. That would require rearranging the plans for the parking lot, Mr. Alderman said.

Mrs. Almond said of that idea: "I wouldn't be happy, but it would save the house. Once you move that house, you move the history."

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