I moved back to Maryland 15 years ago and chose the Bel Air area as the place I wanted to live. I was charmed by the downtown district, an excellent library system and historic buildings such as the courthouse, Liriodendron, and Hays House.
I was also impressed when I discovered the McKinney-Graybeal house...also known as the "Brick House," once home of Dr. Howard Kelly, a co-founder of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Architectural historian, Christopher Weeks, describes this "Brick House" as "one of the most distinguished in or near the town of Bel Air." As noted in previous letters to the editor, Dr. Kelly and his family lived in the "Brick House" while having their home, Liriodendron, built. The two structures are on adjacent properties and in view of each other.
My understanding is that the historic Graybeal property – house and over four acres of land – plus tennis courts is on the market for a very reasonable price. Could the town of Bel Air and Harford County work together to save and preserve this property? I have heard suggestions that the house be used as an events center, a B&B, etc. I'm sure that there are many creative ideas to ensure that one of the treasures of Bel Air/Harford County history is preserved and not turned over to another housing development.
Mari M. Kane