Roland Park house nestles in green setting

Antique staircase said to have been moved from Jerome Bonaparte's Mount Vernon house

home of the week

November 16, 2008|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,

With the help of their two daughters who work for a Baltimore interior designer, Jon and Margee Zemarel have made their Roland Park house into a showcase since moving in about seven years ago.

But, thanks to an abundance of trees and other greenery surrounding the four-bedroom, 31/2-bathroom Colonial house, the outside world has little chance of catching a glimpse. It's easy to drive right by.

The house is nestled on a little more than a third of an acre, and the Zemarels have added many outdoor amenities that seem to blend in, such as a two-car garage that was built to match the house built in the 1920s - complete with old windows scavenged from another older building. They laid stone patios, built a screened-in porch, dug gardens and added a heated mineral pool.

Inside, the historic features of the home have been restored or replaced, including the wood floors, crown molding and an antique staircase. According to legend, those stairs, around which the house was built, were moved from the Mount Vernon town house of Jerome Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, and his wife, Betsy Patterson, daughter of a prominent Baltimore family.

The house also has many large windows.

"I think the thing I like best is all the light," said Jon Zemarel, standing one recent morning in the sun that pours into his kitchen.

"And it's very, very private here," he said. "You can hardly tell you're in the city. It's our little villa." But he likes the neighbors. The Zemarels are planning to find another Roland Park home - downsizing now that the four kids are mostly gone. This house is too big for the couple and their little beagle, Belvedere.

"It was really fun fixing up the house," Jon Zemarel said. "I have mixed emotions about leaving. ... I'll miss the elegance of the house."

Address : 701 W. Lake Ave., North Roland Park, 21210

Asking price : $859,000

Taxes : $10,000

Size : The house has nearly 2,500 square feet of living space and sits on about a third of an acre of landscaped yard that includes a garage, patio and pool.

Features : There are 10-foot ceilings on the first floor of the house, which also features fireplaces, crown molding and French doors.

The kitchen has hand-painted ceramic tiles and solid oak cabinets.

There are also modern amenities, including built-in stereo speakers in every room, two-zone air conditioning and heated bathroom floors.

Listing agent : Keene Barroll, Hubble Bisbee Group of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lutherville, 410-667-3713.

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