Stone manor has an indoor pool

Desirable Spaces

December 16, 2007|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun reporter

Past the new houses in Terra Maria lies an unexpected house in the development: a large home on a knoll in Howard County's woods. The house has a stone rotunda with a circular stairway topped by a round lounge, with banks of windows providing a serene view.

More than six years ago, when Frank and Rena Russell were house-hunting, they couldn't tear themselves away from the house, with its seeming lack of corners and its location just a few minutes from bustling downtown Ellicott City.

"We were looking for something that had water on it, and I was looking for acreage. We wanted something unique," Frank Russell, who recently sold his insurance company, said. "I've built and remodeled. I could not build this."

But now, with two of their three children grown and married, they want a smaller home -- one more conventional than what's known as St. Charles Manor.

Using locally quarried stone, a team of masons worked for more than a year on the house, completed in 1983. Outside, a 3/4 -acre pond punctuates the 13-acre wooded lot; inside, the house has its own pond and in-ground swimming pool.

About the house --Light pours into the house from everywhere -- from skylights on the soaring ceilings, from glass doors that open onto decks and patios, from the atrium that caps the rotunda and from the glass blocks in the lower-level bathroom.

In a contemporary style, the house features a main level with an open floor plan that moves through the living room, dining room and eat-in kitchen, but the master bedroom suite is tucked away for privacy.

Down a circular staircase from the kitchen is the indoor swimming pool room. Adjacent is a hot tub that seats 10 to 12 people. A dehumidifier system behind a stone wall controls the moisture.

In addition to a large game room and wine cellar, the lower level provides four other rooms.

The home has eight fireplaces, five converted to gas, three wood-burning.

Address --3173 St. Charles Place, Ellicott City, 21042.

Asking price --$2,150,000

Taxes --$21,581

Size --The house is 8,571 square feet. It sits on 13 acres with an attached four-car garage.

Features --The rotunda's carpeted lounge has built-in sofa seating, plus a wet bar.

The kitchen, which the couple remodeled, includes black granite countertops, custom cabinetry and upgraded appliances. A walk-in pantry provides additional storage space.

The house has five bathrooms and three half-baths, six-zone heating and air conditioning. The Russells removed all but one heat pump in favor of bottled gas heat and air conditioning.

The master suite features a bathroom with a four-head shower, deep tub, two granite-topped vanities and two walk-in closets with dressing areas.

Listing agent --Anthony Corrao, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, phone:

To submit a candidate for Desirable Spaces, send color high-resolution photos with caption information on a CD and a detailed description of the property to Michelle Deal-Zimmerman, Real Estate Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Questions may be sent to

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.