'Just don't throw stones': $1.7 million glass house in Maryland divides the internet
A fun way to live in nature? Or a privacy nightmare?
The listing for a $1.7 million glass house on the banks of Maryland's Gunpowder River has polarized internet commenters and inspired plenty of jokes.
Instead of walls, the house has grids of square window panes. It's topped with a bright red roof and includes a brick silo that holds a spiral staircase.
Automated window shades can lower in just about any part of the house to offer privacy. Still, some observers find the home's see-through exterior a little weird.
"Those who live in glass houses ... get dressed in the basement," one woman wrote on Twitter.
The renovated interior and sweeping forest views have been enough to charm others as they scroll through home-buying websites — a pastime that gained popularity as the pandemic forced millions to stay at home and dream of far-off places.
Alisa Goldsmith, the home's owner and the listing agent, said most of the response has been "overwhelmingly positive." She lives in the house with her husband, three young children and two dogs.
"People have such strong feelings about it one way or another," Goldsmith said. "I'm quite amused by how strongly people feel about a house that they have just seen pictures of on the internet."
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A tweet about the house from Tressie McMillan Cottom, a sociologist and author, quickly gained nearly 10,000 likes.
"I don’t know how you live in it, BUT I WANT TO TRY," she wrote.
Many commenters said they'd be worried about privacy, but Goldsmith said that hasn't been a problem for her family.
The house is fairly isolated, sitting at the end of a cul-de-sac on Corbridge Lane in Monkton. The master bedroom and bathroom back onto the Gunpowder River.
"It's a nonissue for us," Goldsmith said. "There's really no one to see us."
And it's the house's views, from all those windows, that make it so special.
"You're really at one with nature," Goldsmith said. "Even when you're not outside, you're outside."
The house was built in 1990 by a married couple who were architects, Goldsmith said. They designed the building to work like a skyscraper, she said, so there are no load-bearing walls and the window panels flex as needed.
Goldsmith and her husband renovated the interior when they bought the house in 2017, but the exterior looks much the same as it did when they moved in.
She's been having fun with the online commentary about her house and its decor, laughing off comments about the "creepy doll nook" her daughter uses and critiques of her decision to organize the bookshelves by color.
"It makes me so happy, and I don't care what people say," she said.
The house uses a five-zone geothermal system that is typically running "on full blast" for heating and cooling, Goldsmith said, with the bill averaging around $700 per month.
Each pane of the massive window grid costs $50 to replace, she said, though the young family so far hasn't had to deal with shattered glass.
"We have three kids and we've never broken one," Goldsmith said.
Madeleine O'Neill covers the Maryland State House and state issues for the USA Today Network. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @maddioneill