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...A little bit about Academy Heights...


Academy Heights is a community of 462 neo-Colonial style rowhouses located in Catonsville, Maryland. The neo-Colonial style became popular in the 1930s, thanks to John D. Rockefeller's restoration of Williamsburg, VA. All homes conform to the same basic rectangular footprints and have slate roofs, red brick walls (running bond, with every 7th-course alternating headers and stretchers) and white fascia boards. They all have six-over-six double-hung sash windows, white doorways with Roman Doric pilasters and fluted pediments, and front doors with four inset panels surmounted by two small rectangular windows.


In front, they all have porches, staircases and sidewalks made of cement, with wrought iron railings on the porches. They all have small front and backyards, and service alleys in the rear. They all are two stories plus a basement (usually finished and containing a half-bathroom) and attic (usually unfinished).

 The first floor contains a living room in front, dining room in the rear, and a kitchen adjacent to the dining room. Upstairs are two bedrooms in the rear with one bedroom and a bathroom up front. All the rooms on the first and second floors, except for the kitchen and bathroom, are hardwood, although some may now be overlaid with carpeting.


The houses come in seven sizes (plus a few anomalies), with square footage ranging from 1,200- to 1,512 square feet (not including the basement). A very few houses were built as a residence plus apartment. The houses appear in rows of from two to seven, with the most common number being seven.


Thanks to protective covenants, all houses must retain the slate roofs, brick walls, cement porches and walks, but just the appearance of the original windows, doors and exterior woodwork. Replacement materials are allowed for windows, and aluminum is allowed to cover original wood. If PVC trim covers the doorways, the contours of the original pilasters and dentil motifs must remain. Powder rooms, an option on the houses, make their presence at random, as revealed by the open brickwork in front of the powder room window beside the front door.


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