At Rodgers Forge, looks can be deceiving 3-story rowhouse appears detached, has extras

Dream Home

March 10, 1996|By DeWitt Bliss | DeWitt Bliss,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On a hallway wall of the Rodgers Forge home of Thomas and Elena Murphy rests a piece of needlework that was given as a wedding present to Mr. Murphy's maternal grandparents.

"On a home that is reigned by love drop blessings from heaven above," reads the needlework. The house, which the Murphys bought in November, was originally a wedding present itself. Local lore has it that it was a developer's gift more than a half-century ago to his daughter, Mr. Murphy said.

Builder James Keelty started the rowhouse development on the old Reiman estate in 1933 and named it for the forge at the southeast corner of York Road and Stevenson Lane, according to Mr. Murphy.

At the time his current home was built, it sat on the western border of the community. Rodgers Forge expanded westward after World War II.

The Murphys' residence was one of several that look like detached dwellings from the front, but actually have rows of homes attached to their backs.

But, according to Mr. Murphy, an assistant vice president of the PTC Colliers Pinkard real estate firm and manager of the B&O Building, the house has many features not included in other homes in the development.

There are three full stories and a basement in about 3,300 square feet. Off the kitchen is a breakfast room; above the breakfast room is a balcony leading from an upstairs guest room. The Murphys' home has a two-car garage and apron. Mrs. Murphy, who substitutes as a registered nurse in the Baltimore County schools and at Union Memorial Hospital, and their daughters, Carrie, 10, and Meghan, 7, made mock stained glass decorative panels for the breakfast room windows before they bought the house.

Mr. Murphy joked that his wife was so eager for the move from their previous home, a Rodgers Forge rowhouse, that, "She said she was going to divorce me if we didn't get out of that small house."

The center hall, living and dining rooms include six prints Mr. Murphy bought on a trip to Japan. On the south side of the second floor is the master bedroom and bath. To the north are another bath and two more bedrooms, including the guest bedroom.

The guest room is decorated with "Gone With the Wind" memorabilia, including a picture, posters and figurines of the characters.

The third floor includes an office and exercise room, as well as a bath and bedroom.

The basement includes a carpeted family room under the living room, with a second fireplace and a bar. Under the dining room and kitchen is a utility room with access to the back yard and to extra storage space under the breakfast room. The utility room also houses the girls' hamster and guinea pig cages.

The back yard includes a built-in grill and a fish pond with lights.

The front yard includes a magnolia, an evergreen and several shade and flowering trees.

Mr. Murphy has lived in Rodgers Forge since 1963, and he had his eye on his current home for years. "I drove by it a thousand times, and wanted it every time."

Pub Date: 3/10/96

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