Federal Hill home’s quick sale benefits animal charity
By Jacques Kelly | firstname.lastname@example.org
1:27 PM EDT, March 31, 2009
Bidding stopped at $808,500 for one of Federal Hill’s largest homes, auctioned Tuesday to benefit an animal charity chosen by the former owner, who was devoted to his dog.
It took auctioneer Tim Jennings, who stood on the house’s marble steps, less than 5 minutes to complete the sale to Mahlon Apgar of Ruxton.
The house had been owned by Kenneth Munzert, a retired engineer who died last year at age 88 and had no close surviving family members. He left his principal asset, his 405 Warren Ave. home overlooking the harbor, to the Richmond, Va., animal charity that had pledged to protect his German shepherd, a former stray named Beauregard.
While the dog died before his master, Munzert directed that the bulk of his estate be left to the SPCA of Richmond, whose officials had earlier pledged to protect the dog should its owner die first.
Rachel Rabinowitz, an agent with Tranzon Fox auctions, said that numerous people brought contractors and architects through the residence this month. The home was constructed shortly after the Civil War by a South Baltimore dry goods store owner.
Munzert was raised on Baltimore Street on the west side. His father, a druggist, sent him to Staunton Military Academy. He studied diligently and went on to earn an engineering degree at Harvard University. Friends described him as a “Southern gentleman” who loved Baltimore and often walked throughout the city.
Over the years, Munzert held jobs with the Regional Planning Council, the city, the old John C. Legg & Co. and Johns Hopkins Hospital, his attorney said.
According to a will filed in Baltimore last month, Munzert left an estimated $990,228 — three-quarters of which is directed to animal protection groups in the United States and elsewhere. That amount did not include his Warren Avenue house, which he told friends he bought for $25,000 about 40 years ago.
reprinted from Baltimore Sun website