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Sara Wald

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Charles Village, Baltimore Charles Village, Baltimore

CHARLES VILLAGE, FIRST KNOWN AS PEABODY HEIGHTS, WAS developed after the Civil War as a get-rich-quick scheme. Investors thought high-salaried professionals would be attracted to the area because of its proximity to the estates of Baltimore's most affluent residents. But it just didn't sell as easily as they hoped and while the developers didn't get rich, the neighborhood is now one of Baltimore's richest in culture and character. Read more

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Walkthrough: Charles Village, Baltimore Walkthrough: Charles Village, Baltimore

Charles Village, first known as Peabody Heights, was developed after the Civil War as a get-rich-quick scheme. Investors thought high-salaried professionals would be attracted to the area because of its proximity to the estates of Baltimore's most affluent residents. But it just didn't sell as easily as they hoped and while the developers didn't get rich, the neighborhood is now one of Baltimore's richest in culture and character. The area finally began to prosper around 1910, with demand for houses so great they couldn't be built fast enough. Growth slowed mid-century but the community was given an image boost when, in 1967, local resident Grace Darin renamed it Charles Village and wrote newspaper articles promoting the area. Located near Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus, the neighborhood is known for its multi-million-dollar restored Victorian Painted Lady row houses on a strip called Pastel Row. Over time, Charles Village has become an alloy of old and new; much of its history is preserved, yet new developments such as the Charles Village Project have brought in modern apartments and businesses. Read more

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2007 Builder's Choice Winner: Icon At Playa Vista -- Plan 4

Too often, city living means sacrificing space (and privacy) for location. But this Spanish-colonial townhouse, designed by JZMK Partners, allows buyers to have it all, in spite of zero–lot line restrictions. Its first-level garden patio and two second-level decks provide al fresco retreats. And its three-car garage, tucked discreetly behind two first-floor flex rooms, is an unheard of perk for a city home. Read more

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2007 Builder's Choice Winner: Ico At Playa Vista -- Plan 1

For architect Eric Zuziak, inspiration for this unusual duplex wasn't hard to find. The contemporary lines and strong geometry of the three-story Los Angeles residence echo those seen in his own home. Read more

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Walkthrough: Thimble Islands, Branford, Conn. Walkthrough: Thimble Islands, Branford, Conn.

The Mattabeseck Indians called these small outcroppings “Kuttomquosh,” meaning “beautiful sea rocks.” These days, they are called the Thimble Islands. Some of them are so tiny that debate goes on over whether they are actually islands or just rocks. Depending on which camp you are in, you can count from 100 to 365 of these land masses clustered just off Branford, Conn., in the Long Island Sound. In 1614, Adrian Block became the first European to set sights on the Thimbles, but they didn't remain uninhabited for long. Stories of treasure buried nearby by Captain Kidd brought hopefuls in search of gold. The treasure was never found, but today the tiny islands have become a treasure trove of real estate. There are 81 summer homes in all; the smallest islands hold one or two, and the largest island, Money Island, has a village of 32 homes and a post office. The houses are built in a variety of styles and sizes. One island boasts a 27-room Tudor residence with tennis and basketball courts, others have small summer cottages on stilts or clusters of buildings connected by footbridges. The lure of the Thimbles has changed with the times. Once, they enticed those looking to get rich, while today they attract those who are already wealthy. Read more

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