Monday, January 19, 2015

Maryland Mansion

From Dave Brigham:

It's always nice to add a new name to the roster of contributors here at the Backside of America. My brother, Steve, recently sent along a few pictures and a quick story of a hike he took with his kids near their home in Bowie, Maryland.

"When school got canceled last Monday, we hiked out our back yard, through a long open, overgrown field (on an old horse farm) to find a good sledding hill. We came across an old abandoned farm and mansion that didn't look like it had been lived in for many years. Not much good sleddding (only 2 inches), but quite an adventure!"

Because I'm a research geek, I had to find out more about this place. And, as often happens, I spent way more time than I thought I would, and found some information that I don't trust. Still, I love how often persistence pays off when doing research online.

One real estate web site lists the house as being built in 1956, but as you can see, it looks more modern than that. I'm guessing the place was totally overhauled, or that some part of the place was built that long ago. I also found conflicting reports about the size of the place, with one site indicating 4,470 square feet, and another 7,200. Either way, it's a big place.

The place sold for $1.45 million in 1999, and has an estimated value of $1.57 million, because the estate comprises more than 83 acres, and backs up to a small nature preserve. There is an in-ground pool and a few other buildings on the property, including an old barn.

My brother indicates that the land had been rezoned for an active adult community before the 2008 recession. At some point a church bought the land and rented the land for horse owners, but that church evidently filed for bankruptcy. So now the property is listed for sale under the name The Enclave at Beechfield, with a special permit allowing 400 units (250 condo, 150 townhouses) for a retirement community." I'm assuming The Enclave at Beechfield is the name of the entity formed to originally develop the land. I'll check in with my brother for any updates.

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