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Inn at Government House sold to local investor group

The ornate and historic Inn at Government House was sold by Baltimore to a group of local investors who hope to redevelop the city’s official guest house and two adjoining rowhouses into a 17-room boutique hotel and restaurant.

The city’s Board of Estimates approved the sale last week to Mount Vernon Mansion LLC for $750,000.

The group is a partnership between Eddie Brown, of Brown Capital Management, and Martin P. Azola, president of Azola & Associates Inc., a local firm dedicated to renovating historic buildings such as the Bromo-Seltzer Tower and the Old Jail in Towson.

“For some time, the city has sought to identify a viable reuse for this property,” M.J. “Jay” Brodie, president of Baltimore Development Corp., said in a statement. “We are confident that this experienced development team will rehabilitate these buildings, creating a fine asset in the heart of the Mount Vernon community.”

Government House is at 1125 N. Calvert St., near a rowhouse at 34 E. Preston St. where socialite Wallis Warfield Simpson once lived as a child.

The four-story structure was built in 1890 and has oak and mahogany paneling, stately parlor doors and ornate glass windows. It recently was declared surplus by the city’s Space Utilization Committee and put up for sale by the City Council.

The mansion’s previous inhabitants have included the man who invented the bottle cap, William Painter, and the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks.

The inn was last renovated in 1985.

Officials at the BDC said they had issued a request for proposals for the purchase, lease or operation of the Inn at Government House, and had received only the bid from Mount Vernon Mansion.