Insiders' guide to Linthicum

`Country suburb' close, accessible

December 23, 2007|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun reporter

Tucked amid the bustle of highways, trains and BWI Marshall Airport lies Linthicum, a hamlet first developed as a "country suburb" and about to mark its centennial in 2008.

The descendants of Abner Linthicum wouldn't recognize the place they marketed as minutes from Baltimore.

Over a century, houses of varying age and size have been built, and their occupants are planning festivities to mark Linthicum's 100th year.

"I can get downtown to Baltimore in minutes. It's not as congested in this village as other places I've lived," said John Lombardi, a semi-retired insurance executive.

Few tracts in the community are not developed. Well-kept properties with mature trees retain a small-town charm alongside the newer neighborhoods.

The Linthicum ZIP code encompasses Linthicum, Linthicum Heights and Shipley, as well as a few other residential neighborhoods and business areas.

The Linthicum Heights Historic District, near Camp Meade and Maple roads, is on the National Register of Historic Places as a showplace for the suburbanization that took northern Anne Arundel County from a rural area to a hub of railroads and housing, said Beth Nowell, chairperson for the Historic District Committee of the Linthicum Shipley Improvement Association.

The community has businesses, among them defense giant Northrup Grumman Corp. and the tech companies. The growth of the former Friendship Airport into Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport gave many businesses and hotels an impetus to locate there and flourish.

Housing stock --"You've got a big variety here," said Lynn Nichols, a Realtor with Century 21 Downtown. Most of it is owner-occupied, and ranges from small square cottages to grand, white-clapboard houses with their signature front porches and white columns. Prices range from about $300,000 to nearly $1 million.

Linthicum is also the site of historic houses, including a Linthicum family home known as Turkey Hill, built in 1822, and the Benson-Hammond House, a 19th-century farmhouse.

Kids and schools --Public schools include North County High, where the number of students passing in state subject exams this year was below the county average; and Lindale Middle, where students fell slightly below the county average in reading and math.

Elementary schools include Linthicum and Overlook, where pupils outperformed or did as well as schools countywide on reading and math state assessment tests.

The Linthicum Ferndale Youth Athletic Association keeps youth busy with a variety of sports.

Crime --That's fairly low, residents said. "People who live here love their community and watch over one another," Nowell said.

Dining --A few grocery stores exist in Linthicum. It takes another minute on the road to reach major supermarkets. For dining out, G&M is so renowned for its crab cakes that the restaurant ships them overnight around the country, and lines an hour long form at its carry-out. The restaurant is expanding and remodeling. Snyder's and the Olive Grove are among other long-established restaurants. The fast-food chains abound as well.

Shopping --The old downtown on Camp Meade Road still has places a generation old, such as Keller's bakery, with its much-loved, turnover-style, raspberry jelly pies, and Bruce's Supply, a family-owned hardware store that sells radiator keys and furnace filters that fit nearby old houses.

Transportation --"People here don't necessarily have to go that far to get to work, and I think that's one of the reasons they live here," said Rik Forgo, the centennial committee chair who moved in 14 years ago to be near his wife's family. "Everything is so close and accessible. There's lots of ways in and out."

Among those in and around Linthicum: Three light rail stations, AMTRAK and MARC trains, public buses, the airport, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Interstates 97, 195 and 695.

Recreation, activities and night life --The Historical Electronics Museum and the William P. Didusch Center for Urologic History are unusual spots to browse. The AMF Southeast Bowling Center, Hoyt's West Nursery Cinema 14, an equestrian center and members-only pool are among places that cater to area interests. The Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights, a charitable organization, sponsors free summer concerts among its events. Nightlife is thin, apart from the hotel bars and restaurants.

andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

LINTHICUM BY THE NUMBERS

ZIP code:

21090

Homes on the market:

74*

Average sale price:

$ 317,000 **

Average days on the market:

76**

[*Figure supplied by Lynn Nichols, Realtor, of Century 21 Downtown, in Linthicum Heights. **Information based on sales during the past 12 months, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc.]

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