You just might love Kernewood, if you can find it


Hint: It's near a college, where it grows nice trees and contented residents

May 02, 2004|By James Gallo | James Gallo,SUN STAFF

Although Kernewood residents enjoy comfortable living in a quiet, tree-lined community, the neighborhood often leaves visitors and real estate agents asking just where it is.

Next to Loyola College, Kernewood lies just off Cold Spring Lane between Millbrook Road to the west and York Road to the east. Radnor Road is a northern boundary and Old Cold Spring Lane is the southern boundary.

The small neighborhood has about 60 houses, and area real estate agents often include it with nearby addresses such as Guilford or Homeland. Neighborhood leaders often do not consider York Road a Kernewood boundary but city officials include that geography on community maps.

The area that usually is defined as Kernewood includes an array of housing styles.

Along Cold Spring Lane and the U-shaped Kerneway, housing styles include brick Georgian mansions, stone detached dwellings, Tudor-style homes and single-story stone and brick ranchers. Toward York Road, houses in Kernewood are mostly rowhouses or semidetached homes. Across Cold Spring Lane and stretching toward Guilford Reservoir, houses are mainly ranchers. Prices range from about $30,000 to more than $400,000.

Denise Whiting, president of the Kernewood Association and owner of Cafe Hon, said she loves the neighborhood.

"We have people from all different social and economic backgrounds, all different races, all different occupations," Whiting said.

According to architectural historian Charlie Duff, Kernewood originally was the country vacation home of the Wilson family.

The original estate burned during the 1920s, but the carriage house and stable remained and was turned into a residence, said Neile Friedman, who lives in the 1850s carriage house.

"There are all kinds of strange doorways that we can't quite figure out," Friedman said of her historic house. Friedman paid $300,000 for her house when she bought it from Loyola College in 1988.

Friedman's parents live in a 1929 house that was built in place of the original Kernewood house. According to Jacqueline Smelkinson, Friedman's mother, the gardens on their 3-acre property likely belonged to the original Kernewood residence.

Much of the neighborhood was purchased by the Roland Park Co. during the 1920s. The developer constructed about half the neighborhood before the Depression. Many of the ranchers were built after World War II, Duff said.

"The mature landscape is a major plus, as is the winding, meandering street layout that was a hallmark of the Roland Park Co.," said Chris Raborn, a Realtor with Re/Max Greater Metro in Towson.

The neighborhood is adorned by several old trees and varied landscaping. It is within walking distance of the Guilford Reservoir, which has a walking path around it.

"It's great to be able to have a place for the kids to go play and to have so much land and still be in the city," said Friedman, whose house sits on 2 acres.

Along with having great places for walking and recreation, Kernewood adjoins Loyola College at Millbrook Road. Whiting said the school has been a good neighbor, even placing no-parking signs along side streets to deter students and faculty from leaving their cars there.

"Occasionally, someone will drive the wrong way down Kerneway or there will be some parking on the streets when there is a big game," Whiting said. "Otherwise, it's great being close to Loyola. They plowed our streets for us during the blizzard."

William P. Miller, executive director of the Greater Homewood Community Corp., said Loyola also has been active in the efforts to revitalize parts of Kernewood.

"The parts of Kernewood that tend to be strongest are the areas right around Loyola," Miller said. "The weakest parts of Kernewood tend to be around the business corridor around York Road."

"We're currently seeing an upward curve in the area," Miller said. "Where the weaker blocks just continue to strengthen."

Area residents agree.

"It's a great little neighborhood," said Friedman. "It's both diverse and close-knit. Our community group is great and active. Everyone gets along well, and we communicate well through e-mail. It's just a great place to raise a family."


ZIP code: 21212

Commute time to downtown: 10 minutes

Public schools: Guilford Elementary, Roland Park Elementary

Shopping: York Road shops

Homes on the market: 0

Average list price: $314,950 *

Average sales price: $310,500 *

Average days on market: 57 *

Sales price as percentage of list price: 99% *

* Based on two properties sold in the past 12 months as compiled by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc.

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