The house on a slight rise at the end of Cherry Street on St. Michaels’ harbor was originally known as the Henry Clay Dodson House. It is a landmark in St. Michaels for its French Second Empire style with a remarkable mansard roof covered by deep gray fish-scale patterned slate shingles. Between each arched roof dormer window is an unusual painted accent shingle with a gray cente...

One of my favorite childhood movies was “Swiss Family Robinson.”  I was fascinated by the house they built as separate rooms with wood walls and bamboo/reed roofing high up in the trees on branches at different heights. In one magical scene, Mrs. Robinson pulls a cord that opens a roof panel to reveal the sky. For months, I begged my parents to construct a tree house in our tall...

During my first trip to California, I visited Hearst Castle, designed by the architect Julia Morgan. Morgan was one of my heroines because she was the first woman to be admitted to l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris to study architecture. The site is spectacular. The castle is perched on a high hill, and the Neptune pool, which has 20,000 Grecian-style marble fl...

Porches

James Agee, in his Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, “A Death in the Family,” wrote, “We are talking now about summer evenings in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the time that I lived there so successfully disguised as a child.”

Like my fellow Tennessean, I remember many summer evenings spent on my front porch in Knoxville, and the primary reason I bought my home in Talbot County was i...

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