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Baltimore County Looking To Sell Vacant, Historic Mansion

Perry Hall Mansion. Credit: John Lee
Perry Hall Mansion. Credit: John Lee

Baltimore County wants to sell an historic mansion that played a role in the founding of the Methodist Church in the U.S. The county has owned Perry Hall Mansion for 20 years, but it has not been used for a decade.

“The county did what it was supposed to do; the county saved the mansion,” said Councilman David Marks, who represents Perry Hall. “It put some money into structurally improving the property.”

But the building needs some work. Sean Kief, who cowrote a book about the history of Perry Hall Mansion, told WYPR in a 2019 interview that the home is structurally sound but estimated it would take $1 million or more to make cosmetic repairs.

“It’s a terrific find for someone if they really want to put the money into it,” Marks said.

The home was built in the 1770s. The original foundation survived a fire in 1839 and the current mansion was rebuilt on top of it.

Leaders of the American Methodist Church met at Perry Hall Mansion in 1784 to plan their organizing conference, which was held at Lovely Lane Meeting House in Baltimore.

The home’s history goes beyond the Methodist Church.

In the 2019 interview, Kief said that there are firsthand accounts from people who remember seeing chains that had been used to shackle slaves to the wall of the original foundation.

The mansion in its heyday was part of a 1,000-acre estate. Now it sits on four acres in a residential neighborhood.

Anne Gryczon, director of the Preservation Alliance of Baltimore County said Perry Hall mansion could be used for several things.

“It could be a private business, a commercial business, a business incubator, a non-profit center as well as a private residence,” Gryczon said.

The deadline to make the county an offer is Tuesday. The proposal states the county is looking for someone to restore and preserve Perry Hall Mansion, and to lease it with an option to buy.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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