Although nestled in Great Seneca Stream Valley Park along Great Seneca Creek, the house wasn’t always surrounded by parkland. In 1968 — two years after the house was built — the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission began acquiring the land around it in stages and turning the area into a public park while the 5.3-acre lot remained private property.
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The house was built for Charles W. Prettyman, who came from a well-known legal family in Montgomery County. The U.S. District Court building in the District is named after his cousin E. Barrett Prettyman. Charles Prettyman practiced law in the office of his father and grandfather before serving as counsel for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the county Board of Education.
David E. Betts said at a Bar Association of Montgomery County memorial that Prettyman “loved to get out with his dogs, and I suppose you could say, poetically, ‘commune with Nature.’ ”
The house is ideal for a nature lover like Prettyman, who unfortunately died two years after it was built.
Charles and his wife, Carol, who bought the house in 1978, are just the third owners. They say it is a Scholz Mark 58 house. Donald Scholz founded Scholz Homes in Toledo, Ohio, in 1946 to take advantage of the postwar housing boom. Scholz wasn’t a trained architect, but he was influenced by Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. His home designs featured strong horizontal lines, open floor plans, cathedral ceilings and lots of windows. He used innovative prefabrication techniques to keep the cost of his house low. The components of the house were manufactured by Scholz, shipped to the homeowner and then assembled by local builders.
Scholz sold more than 50,000 California contemporary houses like this one across the country, including another in Montgomery County. He was named one of the 20th century’s most influential figures in the residential building industry by Builder Magazine in 2000.
According to the Tilfords, Prettyman significantly modified the house’s design when constructing it. Since then, they also have made substantial alterations to the home. However, many original features such as the glulam beams remain.
Glulam — or glued laminated timber — is made of layers of lumber bonded together to form a beam. These beams stretch across the main living area. The Tilfords also added them to the master bedroom when they expanded the house.
With the help of Silver Spring architect Shawn Buehler of Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects, the Tilfords extended the L-shape house in 2006 by adding a master bedroom and bathroom to one end. The original stone exterior became a feature wall in the bedroom and bathroom. Skylights, glass blocks and clerestory windows bring abundant natural light into the space. A gas fireplace warms the room.
The four-bedroom, five-bathroom, 2,839-square-foot house is listed at $750,000.
Listing: 9910 Brink Rd., Gaithersburg, Md.
Listing agent: Anslie Stokes Milligan, McEnearney Associates
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