Balto. Co. landmarks panel reconsiders preserving farmhouse on GBMC property

October 10, 2002|By Jennifer M. Sims | Jennifer M. Sims,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission will reconsider today the fate of the Bowen farmhouse, a home at least 200 years old that sits on property owned by Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson.

GBMC wants to raze the wooden house, which sits on a hill looking over Charles Street and Towsontown Boulevard.

"It's not usable in its current state, and we think we can retain its history better by dismantling it with the help of an expert," said Kay Taylor, a vice president of GBMC.

Joseph M. Coale, a Ruxton resident who has been fighting to keep the building intact, acknowledges the farmhouse is in disrepair but attributes it to neglect by GBMC.

"It's really important to save this house because it's a 100 percent Baltimore County original," Coale said. He claims the original structure -- there have been several additions to the house -- dates to 1730.

If the commission votes to add the house to its preliminary list of historical landmarks, the recommendation would go to the county executive's office for review, and then to the County Council for consideration.

GBMC could not demolish the farmhouse if it is added to the preliminary list of landmarks. It could still be razed if County Council eventually refuses to place the house on the list permanently.

In a July meeting, the commission voted against recommending the structure be placed on the preliminary list after GBMC proposed to set aside $100,000 to disassemble the building and allow historical study of the structure.

The commission agreed to reconsider the vote after Coale sent two letters requesting that a second hearing be held.

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