`Such grace and style'


Welcoming center-hall southern Colonial in Roland Park was built in 1901 of cedar siding

November 30, 2007|By Marie Gullard | Marie Gullard,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

In the North Baltimore's Roland Park neighborhood, stone cottages, brick Tudors, bungalows and towering four-squares -- no two alike -- sit side by side like the landscape of an elaborate Christmas garden.

The Poblete home is a welcoming center-hall southern Colonial. Its wide-columned porch wraps around three-quarters of the house. Built in 1901 of cedar siding, its large windows feature the original shutters painted deep green. A white Georgian pediment tops the center portion. Second-story porches cling to both sides of the house, and two large, third-story dormers jut from a steep roof.

A 15-foot-wide front entrance hall, accented by a sweeping, carved-wood ceiling arch, extends an impressive 40 feet to the back door. Wide pocket doors on either side of the hall lead to the large dining room and living room. A center, winding oak staircase features a variety of carving styles on its white spindles. The warmth of the oak is intensified by walls painted a deep green.

Pio Poblete, a doctor of internal medicine, and his wife, Caroline, a child psychiatrist, purchased the large home in April 2005, coming from River Hill village in Columbia. The idea was to be closer to their children's school, Friends School of Baltimore. Now Alex, 12, Mika, 9, and Daniel, 6, can walk.

"We always knew we'd move back into the city one day," Caroline Poblete said.

And the move was a whirlwind affair.

"The house came up on the market on a Wednesday, and I told my wife, `You gotta see this,' " Pio Poblete remembered. "We put a bid in on Thursday, and Friday it was accepted."

The family made the move a month later.

The Pobletes believe the $985,000 price tag was a bargain for the spacious, almost 5,000- square-foot home. Its condition was excellent, from its quarter-acre, landscaped lot to the gleaming pine floors.

"The previous owners did a lot to update the house," Pio Poblete said. "[They] converted from oil to gas heat still using the radiators, installed central air conditioning, and completely renovated the kitchen."

There is a rotunda-like echo on the first level, in part because of exposed floors, but also from the 10-foot ceilings with wide, double molding.

The octagonal dining room offers all the warmth that two sides of windows and a buttercup yellow shade of paint on the walls can provide. Three bay windows incorporate doors that open to the side porch.

A maple dining table sits in the center of the room under a wrought-iron, 10-candle chandelier. A black marble fireplace with wood mantel and dentil molding sits at an angle on the wall nearest the room's entrance.

The renovated kitchen, accessed through a butler's pantry, has been designed in a black-and-white theme; its white laminate cabinets shine against polished black granite block tiles and backsplash.

"With the basic systems of the house in good shape, our focus [was] on the living room," Pio Poblete said.

One of the first items purchased was a grand piano. It sits at the front window, commanding a living room that measures the full depth of the home. At the rear is a three-bay window grouping -- one of the big selling points for the Pobletes. Recessed under a sweeping arch, the windows are of opaque leaded glass in a diamond pattern with an oval and diamond border.

The same bay window grouping is seen from the staircase landing halfway to the second level. The Pobletes, especially the children, love the circular layout of the second floor, one room flowing into another with a grand center hallway. The level includes a master suite, guest room, large family room and Daniel's bedroom, as well as two full baths. The third level contains the two bedrooms of the older children, a bath and play area.

Pio Poblete refers to his home as a grand house but a simple one.

"The first floor really only has four gathering spaces -- kitchen, [hall], dining room and living room," he said. "It's wonderful that a 106-year-old house can still meet the needs of a family of today with such grace and style."

Have you found your dream home? Tell us about it. Write to Dream Home, Real Estate Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail us at real.estate@baltsun.com. Find our Dream Home archive at baltimoresun.com/dreamhome.

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