For sale: House with observatory, telescope

(Photo courtesy of JoAnn…)
May 03, 2012|Jamie Smith Hopkins

Here's something you don't see every day: A house that comes with its own observatory and telescope.

The property, on Westview Road in Baltimore's Original Northwood neighborhood, is for sale with an asking price of $389,000. "Stone wing c.1937 houses a vintage telescope within the beautiful copper roofed observatory," notes the listing, which calls it the Telescope House.

The seller's real estate agent, JoAnn Moncure, said more than 100 people turned out for the open house last Sunday -- some who live in the area and really, really wanted a look inside. The telescope itself no longer works, "but what a conversation piece," she said.

This is the second time Moncure is representing an owner of this house. She was involved with the sale when it changed hands for $295,000 in 2000, after resident Bob Kean restored it. The home drew three bids at the time, she said.

The Sun wrote about the place when Kean bought it in 1995, noting that the rooftop observatory was built "by Joseph L. Woods, a toy manufacturer and amateur astronomer who spent long nights in the coppered dome photographing variable stars in cooperation with Ivy League researchers."

Other unusual local homes I've run into over the years: a three-bed, three-bath geodesic dome and a converted church with bell tower and stained-glass windows.

What would you add to the list?

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