Fixer-Upper: A Fairy Tale Victorian in Baltimore, Maryland

by Teresa Iafolla. All photos courtesy of MRIS Homes

If you’re looking for a fairytale Victorian, nestled more than an acre of verdant, Maryland greenery, today’s find will have you on the phone with your realtor before you can say “fixer-upper.” This rare Maryland gem is a circa 1880 Victorian, located near Baltimore in quiet Catonsville.

117 Melvin Ave
Baltimore, MD 21228
I’m in love with the windy porch, the detailed spindlework, and the ever-so-pisa-like turret. I’ve always dreamed of owning a house with a two-story library — I bet you could fashion one within that tower.


Not only is this house a gorgeous, long-lived Victorian, it’s huge! 7 bedrooms and 3 baths for a total of 2,925 sqft – and all that for the price of a one-bedroom apartment in my native San Francisco. Plus, it’s sitting on over an acre of lush, wooded land. The backyard looks so private and peaceful.
There’s even a greenhouse out back! That means fresh produce year-round, as long as you have a green thumb.
The house looks like it’s in pretty good shape compared to many of the fixer uppers we usually share on Circa. It’s hard to tell exactly what’s needed, though the listing does mention it could use a little TLC.




I love the full-length mirror in the foyer, and the curving staircase. And so many tall windows to let that natural sunlight shine off those hardwood floors.



Check out the built-in bookcase and cabinet to either side the fireplace. Love the detail around the light fixture, too.


Plenty of space to build your dream kitchen!





So much extra space out back for the gardener.

And here’s the greenhouse hiding among the trees!

Wondering who to call to scoop this house up? You can see the original listing on Zillow.
A contributor to the CIRCA blog, Teresa has been captivated by old, character-rich houses since she was little. Growing up in the cookie-cutter suburbs of Montgomery County, Maryland, she dreamed of one day calling a quirky, old Victorian “home,” often pouring over house plans and blueprints from the local hardware store. Chasing that fondness for all things steeped in history, Teresa attended college at William & Mary, the second-oldest college in the U.S., based in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. After graduating with a degree in English Literature and Psychology, she moved into a restored Baltimore row home, circa 1830. Currently, Teresa lives in San Francisco and spends her days ogling the colorful Victorian Italianates that line her Mission neighborhood.

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