The Gibson Island property is on the market for $13.8 million

Suspension

In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, signs are posted pointing to Gibson Island at Point 100 East until it reaches Route 177 and ends at a security booth. It’s less than 50 miles from downtown Washington, but this narrow stretch of road—with the Magoothe River to the west and the Chesapeake Bay to the east—feels like a different world. And after the prosperity gate is raised, after passing through the manicured residential streets, a house appears on a hill surrounded by a river and a bay. It is known to the islanders as Villa dei Fiori.

The house, inspired by estates in the Italian countryside, was built in 1929 for Robert Jarrett, winner of six Olympic medals—including golds in shot put and discus throw—at the first modern games, in Athens, in 1896. The Baltimore activist was Largely responsible for bringing the Boy Scouts of America to the area, he headed the city’s recreation and parks agencies in the 1940s and 1950s until he was asked to resign from the Board of Parks Commissioners over his opposition to racial integration.

The Garrett family was a prosperous and prominent Maryland family. Robert was an investment banker, philanthropist, as well as an Olympic athlete. An aunt founded the Baltimore Museum of Art, a grandfather drove the nation’s first passenger railroad and an older brother worked in the State Department as a diplomat.

The house on Gibson Island was Garrett’s summer home. The private island, purchased for $165,000 in 1921, was developed as a summer community, attracting, among others, Baltimore community dissatisfied with the quality of the city’s golf courses. Today it is ranked by Forbes as the 24th most expensive ZIP Code in the country.

Gibson Island Corp. owns. The island’s public places, and the island has a special police force. The Gibson Island Club (membership by invitation only) has, among other amenities, a nine-hole golf course designed by renowned architect Charles B. MacDonald, tennis courts and a clubhouse. There are also private marinas on Gibson Island, which is known for its sailing culture – one of the main reasons Elizabeth and Mark Rogers bought Villa dei Fiori in 2005.

Elizabeth Rogers said she fell in love with the home—which underwent a three-year renovation—when she walked into the open-concept great room, with a six-foot-wide fireplace, original ceiling, and custom Murano chandeliers. The room also has a wet bar with cherry wood folding doors and a Miele dishwasher. Multiple French doors open onto a porticoed balcony overlooking the water.

“We’re looking directly at the Magoothe River as it enters the Chesapeake Bay,” Rogers said. “In the evenings when there are fireworks, you can see the fireworks going out from Annapolis, sometimes all the way to Washington, along the water. Very, very beautiful.”

The main floor includes a library with custom cabinetry and marble frames for a wood-burning fireplace; a sunlit breakfast nook family room with large windows; and a cathedral-ceilinged kitchen, where Rogers said her grandchildren love to cook with ingredients from the garden. There is also a bedroom suite with cherry wood floors and an en-suite bathroom that can be used as a primary bedroom suite. The Rogers family calls it the “VIP Room”.

The primary bedroom suite is accessed by descending a spiral staircase with wrought-iron columns created by Patrick Cardin, a famous blacksmith and designer, some of whose work can be seen in Washington National Cathedral. The trip to the lower floor can also be taken from the exit using an elevator with inlaid wood carvings.

The master bedroom suite has Venetian plaster walls, several cedar dressing rooms, and a bathroom with shower, free-standing bathtub, and two vanities. This floor has a further three bedrooms (although one of them is equipped as a home gym), each with an en-suite bathroom. There is a mahogany wine cellar, sauna and sunlit walkway with waterfront views.

Besides the main accommodation, the estate has a detached coach house with home theater on the first floor and a studio flat on the second floor. She was occupied in the summer, Rogers said, by the captain of her schooner.

There is a pool and hot tub behind the house surrounded by two vine-wrapped pergolas. One side of the house contains a sculpture garden. A gated path at the front of the house leads to a gravelled patio at the end of the driveway and to a two car garage, hidden from view.

Behind the house the property slopes down to the water and the landscaping includes a vineyard and rows of mulberry, fig and apple trees. There are more than 25,000 perennial flowers—perhaps the inspiration for the property’s name, which translates from Italian to “house of flowers.”

Rogers describes living on the island as being like a trip to Italy’s Lake Como, but much closer to her family in Maryland.

“Every morning, we get up and enjoy the house, and we love Gibson Island, and the quiet cheer,” said Rogers. “We sit down to breakfast, look at the view and say, ‘It’s great to be here.'” “”

744 Skywater Road, Gibson Island, Maryland

  • Bedrooms / bathrooms: 5/9
  • Approximate square feet: The main house is 12,987 square feet. The carriage house is 1,760 square feet.
  • big size: 3.5 acres
  • Features: This estate, inspired by the Italian countryside and on Gibson’s private island, is up for sale for the first time since 2005. Most of the five bedrooms overlook where the Magoothe River meets the Chesapeake Bay, and each has an en-suite bathroom. Notable features include a sauna, hot tub, swimming pool, garden and vineyards. There is room for two vehicles in the garage and for several more in the gravelled courtyard at the end of the driveway.
  • Listing Agent: Sarah wasGibson Island Real Estate Company

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