Built in 1919, with an iconic Eastport front porch and four dormers, Sharon Murray and Bill Reichhardt’s small-looking house is surprisingly spacious and will sleep 10 in its 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms! Sharon and Bill purchased the house in 2006 as a weekend retreat, began renovations in 2012, and moved to Annapolis full time in 2014. Sharon credits the lovely new design and handsomely executed construction to Annapolis architect Jeff Halpern and contractor Mark Lease, DLC, Inc. Extensions to the side and back enlarged the house, and huge windows in the new sections brought open space and light into the small house.
The house is entered through a beautiful door commissioned by previous owners as a memorial to their son. The comfortable living room flows into the newly expanded kitchen, eating area and family room; light from back and side windows streams in. A small office to the left of the entrance includes an interesting framed 1931 newspaper discovered during renovations that previously served as insulation. A convenient first floor master bedroom and bath incorporate generous floor to ceiling built-in closet storage, and the room opens to a small deck. Also accessible from the eating area and family room, this deck includes steps to provide entry to the inviting back yard filled with garden and patio.
A generous addition to the right side of the house gave the couple the new space they needed while also maintaining the look and feel of old Eastport. The wide new stairways added access to upper and lower levels and include huge new windows to let in light. A painting on glass by Eastport artist Joanne Woodward Tew is prominently displayed here in the stairway. Upstairs is a guest suite with bath, remodeled bath, and three additional bedrooms. These small bedrooms under the eaves sport built-in beds, attractive traditional woods, interesting antiques, and incorporate original structural details that maximize the space in dormer roof lines. An Eastport classic indeed, updated and totally comfortable.
804 Severn Avenue
The Eastport cottage Sharon Littig and John Ebersberger share is a treasure trove of art, history, and fun. Sharon bought the house in 1999 and husband John joined her there when they married five years ago. Both are well-known Annapolis impressionist-classical artists, and both teach: Sharon at South River High School and John at Maryland Hall, among other places. Sharon and John were instrumental in starting the Annapolis Plein Air Art festival, the first in the area. Their art, John’s cartoon collection, historical objects, antique ginger jars and pottery, and an elaborate model train can be seen in this small bungalow. The trains were in John’s father’s attic and had been there for decades. The oldest train dates to 1915, and Sharon has restored the trains through careful and painstaking work. She also built the shelves and surround for the train display and refurbished most of the mechanized parts of the interesting interactive pieces that line the tracks. Many paintings and drawings by American impressionist Henry Hensche line the walls. John studied with Hensche, a historically significant painter who was Charles Hawthorne’s teaching assistant in the 1920s.
The open living-dining area and renovated kitchen lead to a studio added by Sharon. With an oversized window wall looking north for the light artists always seek, this is another life-center of the house. A series of cat-perches move up the window wall to accommodate the couple’s two cats – and don’t miss the “catio” back in the living room, a window extension screened for those feline friends. There are steps to a lower level music studio. The view out into the back yard displays the chickens that Sharon has tended for three years. Yes, they produce fresh eggs daily, to keep this charming household extra healthy.
If this house feels familiar it may be because it was on the tour in 2007 when John Cutting was still single. A lot has changed since then. This one-time bachelor pad is now home to John, his wife of two years Sierra, their toddler JC and their silver lab, Jake.
John describes the house, built in 1987, as having once been a “rustic barn style” home. Somehow, as you walk up to the unique silver front door, you know what lies beyond is anything but rustic.
Entering, you are greeted with contemporary styling—open and spacious vaulted ceilings and a unique staircase treatment that harkens back to America’s industrial age. The kitchen is sleek and efficient with a silver basket weave backsplash that exemplifies the contemporary aura of the home.
Sierra said one of the challenges of the interior design process was merging their individual art collections. One joint acquisition that you may have noticed are the bronze deer sculptures that greeted you at the front door. These were an impulse buy after a cocktail or two in New Orleans, when they somehow found their way back to Eastport.
Transitioning to accommodate family living, John & Sierra enclosed a screened porch to create a sunny playroom located conveniently off the kitchen. JC is also blessed with a huge nursery that is so big it will easily accommodate a sibling roommate if the need arises.
During renovation, dated bathrooms were brought to life. A good deal of the changes to the home main floor of the home is the work of designer Christianna Harding of Severna Park.
The lower level leads you to an “aha moment” as you enter the man cave. You begin to understand the significance of the front door deer. John is an avid hunter and fisherman and many of the deer, elk, wild boar and trophy fish from his expeditions are on display.Once in the very private back yard, you will see a unique built-in bar—a great area for entertaining family and friends! Perfect Eastport living!
Learn about the homes and gardens included in the 2017 Eastport Home & Garden Tour. Tickets for this year's tour are available now.
299 State Street
The spectacular view from Muffie and Rolf Schous’ lovely home is a result of careful planning by the couple. Things have changed since the days when water view property wasn’t valued, and Rolf, an area contractor and owner of Castle Rock Builders Inc., purchased an older home and transformed the property into three charming houses on State Street. The couple planned their own home at the end of the street, with four lawn and patio elevations and three levels inside to take maximum advantage of the views of Spa Creek.
The Schou’s impressive entrance door is from the original house on the property and contains an unusual antique door knob and lock. Rolf had the sidelights and custom frame built to provide the special entry to this lovely place they’ve called home since 2006. On the main floor, most of the casement windows, as well as the 8-foot doors are oversized to afford the best view across Spa Creek to the Carroll House and St Mary’s. Notice the custom woodwork in the office to the right as you enter, and further along, the floor to ceiling built-in “hall closet” with space for everything. This closet as well as features in the living room were all custom built by Litewoods Joinery, an Annapolis cabinetmaker. The living room, to the left of the entrance, has a much-used, two-sided fireplace that extends the space into the family room and open kitchen. The kitchen has wonderful lighting, including the glass cabinets and pantry. The upper level of the house, reached by ascending a pleasingly wide 42” staircase, has three bedrooms, with that same fantastic view from the master. The lower level holds another family room, a bedroom and bath, and a super laundry room complete with a giant folding counter.
Built in 1930, Loblolly Cottage is a classic Arts & Crafts style home and a modern-day Noah’s Ark.
Geoff Lindstrom and Chuck Mewshaw share their home with their dog Timmy, three cats, two Rosellas parrots, two Roosts (20 or so) doves in the garden as well as Koi in a recently-added pond.
One of the first houses Geoff and Chuck saw while house hunting in 2008, they knew immediately this was the home they wanted. They continued to live in Mitchellville until 2015 while they gradually made improvements to the interior and gardens. In 2013 they added a garage with in-law suite at the rear of the property.
Stepping inside there is one word that describes the environment, “SUNNY.” Using their penchant for yellow throughout the home they enhanced the warm and inviting space by adding plantation shutters on all of the windows.
Their extensive collection of art is fascinating and skillfully displayed. Many Maryland artists are counted among their prized pieces. Also notice the gorgeous 1910 German grandfather clock, a fantastic find Chuck acquired on a visit to Chesapeake Beach.
Early on, the couple hired architect Terry Averill to redesign a space that now flows from library to garden room to screen porch to PARADISE!
It should be no surprise that Geoff and Chuck’s gardens are exquisite as they are professional landscapers who designed this beautiful Eden themselves.
Once in the gardens you are swept away by the interesting selection and vast variety of plantings. Their gigantic and fragrant gardenia lives in the garden three seasons then moves to the garage for the winter months. While most Eastporters long for a garage, their seasonal plantings get first dibs on this space come winter.
Another unusual feature in the garden is a Weeping Katsura tree. We were told the dying leaves smell like cotton candy. Definitely worth a trip back in the fall to experience that firsthand.
326 State Street
Liv and Christopher Sheehan are the second owners of their State Street home, purchased in 2011. Christopher is a boater and fisherman who grew up in Annapolis, Liv is an avid sailor, and they both love being settled here. Built in 1988, the small three bedroom, 3.5 bath home attracted them because of its Eastport location and proximity to the water, but the house needed updating and restoration. Over the years, Liv and Christopher have worked with contractors to replace all the flooring, remove wallpaper, replace the outside siding, add plantation shutters, change the light fixtures and hardware, modernize and open up the kitchen, renovate the existing baths, and install custom closets to maximize storage.
You enter the home through a beautiful mahogany door with bright sidelights. Liv spent several years looking for just the right door with a low mail slot; it received 11 coats of stain and varnish before replacing the old damaged one. The living room is on the left and dining is on the right, with the opened and brightened kitchen visible beyond. Floor to ceiling cabinets take advantage of every space in the kitchen, and there is a special dog bowl, too. The comfortable screened porch off the kitchen opens onto the extensive brick patios and garden. The upper level of the house has three bedrooms and two baths.
On the stairway, enjoy the three-piece “wave” art display, purchased from an artist in Charleston.
Upstairs are several historic prints handed down from Liv’s Cuban-born mother and grandparents. The nursery has similarly interesting decorations including a wall hanging with the “ABCs of Annapolis,” and a nautical burgee representing the inspiration behind the baby’s name. On the lower level, a new rec room and bath were just finished this spring. Before you leave, see if you can find the cleverly disguised secret door to a storage area there!
801 Severn Avenue
If you are looking for “quintessential” Eastport, the home of John and Juliette Tower is definitely it.
The oldest home on the tour, dating to 1910, it has been lovingly restored and imaginatively enlarged by owners John and Juliette Tower of The Tower Company. Careful steps were taken to preserve and restore as much of the original house as possible.
Whenever non-original materials were used, John and Juliette scoured places like Second Chance in Baltimore to find materials from the same period as the original construction of the home. A case in point are the beautiful wood floors found throughout and the reclaimed windows in the kitchen. Notice the beautiful metal corner pieces on these windows—years of paint were painstakingly removed to enhance the authenticity of the frames.
Every painting or piece of art has a story which the Towers love to share. The working Wurlitzer was purchased at a charity auction—the records are now part of the substantial vinyl collection the couple has amassed. There is a painting that is over 100 years old (dated from the frame shop label on the back of the piece) dubbed “Eastport Trash Painting.” It was salvaged from a curb on Boucher Avenue years ago on bulk trash night. In the kitchen, there are two “Maine” paintings by Emily Muir that belonged to Juliette’s mother.
Partial to Kurdish rugs, they have a stunning runner that spans the entire length of their sizeable master suite. There is also a “dowry” rug which includes pink, a color that is used only when a rug is intended for a dowry. These rugs can take up to a year to make.
Soon to be “empty nesters” John and Juliette may need to find a smaller place to call home for themselves and Janie their 14-year-old Chihuahua and Lola their 16-year-old deaf Abyssinian cat.Clearly this talented couple is up to the challenge when the time comes!
Eastport Civic Association
P.O. Box 3539
Annapolis, MD 21403
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