Mount Vernon mansion has touches of Southern charm

9,000-square-foot historic town house has been lovingly restored

  • The dining room in a circa-1847 historic six-level mansion for sale in Mount Vernon.
The dining room in a circa-1847 historic six-level mansion… (Wesley Stuckey, Baltimore…)
March 08, 2013|By Marie Marciano Gullard, For The Baltimore Sun

House hunters searching for an in-town, historic mansion in Mount Vernon, the heart of Baltimore's cultural center, need look no further than 514 Cathedral Street.

The address is home to a 9,000-square-foot town house lovingly restored over the last eight years by its owner, Drew Rieger. Dating to 1847, the six-level, elegant home was once the residence of a commander of the Civil War.

"It's the only house in Mount Vernon that has been restored back to its original 1840s floor plan," Rieger said. "It was owned by Francis Turquand Miles, the head of neurology and physiology at the University of Maryland in the 1860s and 1870s. He and his family were well-to-do Southern gentry. He was also an infantry commander at Fort Sumter."

That explains the home's Southern estate feel, with its implementation of wrought iron and large palm trees wherever the natural light is plentiful, as it is in the breakfast room.

"I designed the two-story kitchen after the butler's pantry at Biltmore Estate, which also has two stories," said Rieger, an interior designer and owner of Cathedral Hill Design.

The mansion is perfect for owners who need live-in help; the fourth floor has a separate in-law suite. Additionally, the first floor is an elegant two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, which generates its own monthly income.

"I was careful not to overly restore it; I wanted to put in all the modern conveniences," Rieger said. "The person who buys this house will be able to live in the past and the future at the same time."

In addition to stunning architectural interiors, the stately home has all the latest technology and 21st-century conveniences expected of a newly built property — and then some.

Whole-house sound provides music throughout the mansion, while low-voltage decorator lighting has been installed to highlight artwork and collections. Spacious formal rooms, including the living room, dining room and library, feature 14-foot ceilings and arched doorways.

A five-story grand staircase is crowned with a mahogany balustrade. A rear staircase connects to a balcony over the grand kitchen outfitted with high-end European appliances.

There are three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms in the owner's unit, with a fourth-floor family room that presents stunning nighttime views of the city skyline. An office can be converted to a fourth bedroom.

Directly accessible off Cathedral Street is a 1,800-square-foot unfinished basement, perfect for future office rental or a playroom, billiard room — even a wine cellar. Off-street parking accommodates up to four cars, and a brick courtyard with a large magnolia tree is enclosed by Victorian wrought-iron fencing saved from the historic B&O Railroad station.

The specs

Address: 514 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, 21201

Asking price: $975,000

Taxes: $8,670

Listing agent: Carol R. Taylor, Coldwell Banker

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