For couple, a house worth waiting for

Desirable Spaces

Hunting Ridge dwelling features old-time touches, Formstone walls

August 17, 2008|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun reporter

Marsha and John Wise bought their home six years ago after losing out on another house in the same neighborhood because they had not made an offer quickly enough. The couple had fallen in love with the community of Hunting Ridge, a historic district near Baltimore's western edge known for solid homes in varied architectural styles amid huge trees and rolling terrain.

They really wanted to live there - enough to write to community leaders, inquiring if they knew any homeowners in their midst who would be interested in selling.

In a day, Marsha Wise was invited to a pale-gray stucco house with a deep front porch that sat on a lot and a half. The owners hadn't listed it because it was early summer, and they were not prepared to leave until the end of the year.

No matter. Charmed by the setting and the old-time touches around the house, this time the Wises didn't hesitate. So, accommodating the seller's timetable, they waited six months to move in.

"You can see the servants' bells. They're disconnected, but they're still here," Marsha Wise said.

About the house : The Tudor Revival-style house was built in 1925 by Frederick and Josephine Ludwig. Ludwig was a co-owner of John G. Hetzell & Son Co., a metalworking outfit that specialized in metal roofs, cornices, skylights and such. This house, however, has a slate roof and no metal cornices or skylights. But it does have metal storage drawers in the basement, said Wise, who has done some research on the house.

Particularly unusual is the way the basement family room was finished, probably not long after the house was built: The walls below chair-rail height are Formstone, the simulated stone better known for being applied to East Baltimore rowhouse exteriors during that era.

The house has oak floors, 9-foot ceilings, cut-glass doorknobs and decorative moldings. Archways connect the living spaces on the main floor. French doors from the living room open onto the concrete front porch, and sliders in a breakfast area by the kitchen open onto the rear wood deck. When both are open, a breeze moves fresh air through the downstairs.

Address: 713 Dryden Drive, Baltimore 21229

Asking price : $399,997

Taxes: $4,412

Size : The house has 2,128 square feet. A detached one-car garage that matches the house has loft storage.

Features: A large window with a glass arch above it at the staircase landing allows sunlight to illuminate much of the second-floor hallway, as well as the front hall on the first floor. The living room has a working wood-burning fireplace.

The home's four bedrooms are upstairs. The couple use the one that adjoins the master bedroom (though it has a separate entry from the hallway as well) as a home office. The house has 2 1/2 bathrooms, the half-bath off the kitchen in what probably once served as a butler's pantry.

"We've upgraded every appliance in the house in the last five years," Wise said.

The house has hot-water radiators.

Landscaping in the dappled shade of big trees includes boxwoods and other evergreen shrubs.

Listing agent : Kristine Turner, Re/Max 100 in Columbia, 410-409-8155

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


See more photos of this Hunting Ridge house at

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.