Village began as summer escape

insider's guide to glyndon

August 31, 2008|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,Special to the Baltimore Sun

In Glyndon, mail isn't delivered to houses. And residents of this northwestern Baltimore County town like it that way.

Neighbors want to bump into each other and chat when they pick up mail at the historic, resident-owned post office. That's just the kind of place Glyndon is, they say.

The historic neighborhood is also the kind of place where kids bike to the neighborhood swimming pool. It is the kind of place where friends sit on wrap-around front porches and where, on the Fourth of July, more people are marching in the town parade than are watching it. At the end, townspeople sing the national anthem and eat hot dogs.

"It's the ambience of Glyndon that everyone loves," Cookie Stone, a Realtor with Long & Foster, says.

East of Reisterstown, Glyndon was founded as a summer getaway for Baltimore families who traveled from the city on the Western Maryland Railroad. The name of the village was chosen from residents' suggestions and pulled from a hat by the president of the rail, according to local historians.

Today, Glyndon has county, state and national historic district designations, which recognize such landmarks as the Woman's Club of Glyndon, formerly a two-room schoolhouse, and Mrs. Gore's Boarding House, built in 1875, which is being renovated and will be used for retail and offices.

With the support of neighborhood leaders, the developer, Bel Air-based Spenceola Group, is also building a two-story, brick office building next door and just completed the renovation of the E.G. Wheeler and Son General Merchandise building.

The 1910 general store faces the town post office, which was once the railroad station. In 2000, a group of Glyndon residents saved the brick Victorian post office from development by buying it and leasing it back to the U.S. Postal Service.

Housing stock : The neighborhood is truly diverse, with a range of architecture, eras and prices represented, from cottages that go for about $250,000 to estates closer to Worthington Valley that sell for millions of dollars. Some of the oldest homes, Victorians with wraparound porches, date to the late 1800s. Local historic preservationists are researching some of the early town residents and posting the information on bronze plaques, says Ann O'Neill, a nearly 30-year resident whose house was once the home of the town's butcher and iceman.

Exterior renovations require approval from the county Landmarks Preservation Commission because of Glyndon's historic district status. Yet, says Meredith Wells, a board member of Historic Glyndon Inc., "We're not nearly as restrictive as some of the newer developments."

Schools: Franklin Elementary, Franklin Middle and Franklin High schools are the local public schools. All three meet federal Adequate Yearly Progress goals. John Billingslea, an Advanced Placement social studies teacher at Franklin High, has been named the Baltimore County Public Schools Teacher of the Year for 2008-2009. The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church parish also has a school. Despite its name, Glyndon Elementary School is not in Glyndon.

Crime : There's very little crime, according to Baltimore County police crime statistics. The nearby Glyndon Volunteer Fire Department bolsters public safety.

Transportation: Less than a mile from the I-795 Northwest Expressway, Glyndon is about 30 minutes from the city. Commuters also access the Metro at the nearby Owings Mills station and the Light Rail at the Hunt Valley stop, which is about a 15-minute drive.

Shopping: Glyndon Square includes a gourmet market, dry cleaners, day spa, yarn shop, restaurant and bank. Also nearby are shops along Main Street in Reisterstown, Owings Mills Mall and Hunt Valley Towne Centre.

Dining In: Santoni's at Glyndon Square offers prepared meals, in addition to some grocery items. Supermarket chains such as Safeway are located nearby on Reisterstown Road.

Dining Out : Residents enjoy Mia Carolina, an Italian restaurant, in Glyndon Square. Other favorites include Harryman House, Micho's and Bill Bateman's on Main Street in Reisterstown.

Nightlife: The Cow, a popular ice cream stand in nearby Reisterstown, is an evening hotspot and family hangout.

Recreation: Glyndon Station Park on Railroad Avenue features a gazebo, playground and picnic tables. The private Glyndon Swim Club, with sand surrounding the pool, is a popular summer destination.

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