1800s Ruxton Home Restored, Modernized

April 26, 2009|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

When Cynthia Sothern bought the rundown white house next door to her home at a foreclosure auction in 1993, she wasn't sure what she was getting other than four apartments. When a tenant moved out, she moved into a sliver of it, then eventually took back the entire house.

After more than four years of rebuilding, restoring and modernizing, she had a renovated, seven-bedroom, five-fireplace, 4 1/2-bathroom house steeped in Ruxton history.

The property is part of the 100-acre Martinten grant in 1704 by the king of England to John Martin, according to Sothern. The house was built about 1853. Over the years, it was owned by members of the Rider family, from whom the Riderwood area takes its name.

With a wide wraparound porch, columns and architectural detail, the house combines Southern plantation, Greek revival and Italianate styles. Now, Sothern plans to pack her three cats and move nearby.

"It is now time to turn it over to a family who will continue to appreciate it and fill it up with their memories," she said.

About the house Sothern considers herself fortunate to have restored the house, from the double front doors that she had handmade to copy the originals to the overhauled third-floor rooms. Even an abandoned old cistern has been transformed into useful space.

"The former cistern is now a wine cellar," Sothern said.

The first floor, with a living room, dining room, library and family room, has original cherry floors and 12-foot ceilings. Sothern added a sky-lit kitchen with upgraded appliances and a butcher-block-topped island. She extended granite counters into an area that she turned into a bar.

Address 7928 Ruxway Road, Ruxton 21204

Asking price $1,599,000

Taxes $8,343

Size About 4,200 square feet on .55 acres.

Features Sothern kept the hardwood floors on the second floor, which features a master suite with a walk-in closet, a guest suite with a dressing room and two more bedrooms that each have a wall of closets.

Several rooms in the house have ceiling-high built-in shelving.

She found an original claw-foot tub in the basement, restored it and hauled it to the third-floor bathroom, which serves three bedrooms. A laundry room is adjacent.

The house also has a second-floor balcony, two-car garage, grape arbor and rear deck. Landscaping includes specimen trees.

Listing agent Barbara Feirtag, Keller Williams Excellence, Lutherville, 410-916-1242

To submit a candidate for Desirable Spaces, send photos and a description of the property to Michelle Deal-Zimmerman, Real Estate Editor, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or e-mail homes@baltsun.com.

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