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House of Time to Move to Frederick Road

Oldest building at the corner of Bloomsbury Avenue and Frederick Road will be reborn.

In just a few months, what is believed to be the oldest building in Catonsville will see a new era, reborn as a retail shop and cigar parlor.

In December, purchased 701 Frederick Road. The stone building at the back of the property that borders Bloomsbury Avenue dates back to 1819. Over the years, the building housed the area’s original post office, a drug store, a soda fountain and a sign shop.

In May, the House of Time and Jewelry, which is currently located on Baltimore National Pike, will relocate to Frederick Road and to the building.

Catonsville residents Jim Himel, along with Greg and Julia Alexander, pooled money to purchase the location. They are investing their own money to restore the building, but eventually hope to sell it.

Himel, who has been in the process of restoring his home for 20 years, said he felt like the project was something that could be duplicated by other residents if they work together.

“A lot of people have complained about how ratty the downtown looks,” he said. “You don’t have to be a big developer to do something like this."

Several area carpenters and electricians have been working to strip the building of its various incarnations down to the original structure.

Along the way they have found some pieces of Catonsville’s past, including 100-year-old Southern pine beams, old glassware and the soda fountain.

House of Time owner Jon McCabe, which is a second-generation Catonsville family business, said he is looking forward to the move to Frederick Road. The rent has increased on Baltimore National Pike in recent years, McCabe said, and he would like to be closer to many of the other Frederick Road stores.

“That’s just a fabulous corner,” he said.

In fact, the store had been eyeing that property for a number of years, said McCabe, who stops by the building frequently to check on the progress.

Both McCabe and Himel see the value in restoring the building with its history in mind. They plan to keep large bay windows in the front of the building, as well as salvage much of the old wood.

The store specializes in clocks, antiques and jewelry but will use the back of the building as a tobacco humidor room and cigar-smoking parlor.

The store has been announcing its move to customers for the past two months. The plan is to move during the month of May.

Sean Tully March 05, 2011 at 05:15 AM
That is kind of ironic, isn't it? The House of Time in the oldest building in Catonsville. They repair stopped clocks too, I think.
ruth March 06, 2011 at 11:36 AM
I grew up in Catonsville and remember the side entrance to the building that led to the upstairs and I don't recall the lady's name that lived there. Also I remember the iron railing that was upstairs. Those were the days. Across the street on the opposite corner facing Frederick Road was Albert's Shoe Repair and there was Earl Dews Bicycle Shop. The policeman, Reds Green was always there directing traffic. Just up the street was Read's Drug Store.
Stephan Izzi December 25, 2012 at 09:38 PM
House of time is a disaster. Our grandfather clock had stopped working. It was purchased there as a wedding gift some 20 years earlier. In the past when this happened every 3 to 4 years, a gentleman from Glen Burnie would come to our home and clean it, thus returning it to perfect working order. It's accuracy approached that of a modern quartz watch. When the same thing happened this time, we found that that fellow had retired so we decided to call on The House of Time. We were told since the clock was over 20 years old, it would require a thorough cleaning which would take up to six weeks and cost over $600. This sounded reasonable so we agreed. Time passed and we started calling them. Three months had passed, and they told us that something was wrong with it and it needed to be worked on. No calls. We called again two weeks later and were assured the clock had been running well and a delivery appointment was set. From the outset, the clock was running slow, losing 4 minutes per day! Additionally, only one of three chime selections worked. ARE THESE PEOPLE FOR REAL?? Will call them (the day after Christmas) and keep you posted. I will not keep a critical review if they make good on their errors. If not, they will be pursued until complete restitution is made.
Stephan Izzi January 19, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Grandfather clock stopped in Sept. Called House of Time. It was >20 yrs old, so it would require cleaning: up to 6 wks and $600+. Agreed. 3 mos pass. We call. First: clock wasn’t in store. Claim # provided. No callback. Wife calls again: something was wrong/still needs work. No calls. 2 wks later: not sure it is working properly. By this point Christmas coming. We ask for delivery by then, presuming it would be fixed. It was delivered. Clock was losing > 4 mins/day and only one of 3 chimes worked. 1/17/13 owner comes to home to repair it. I leave note stating what’s wrong. Since took over 3 mos @ cost $625 I end note stating we expect "clock to be fixed competently this time." He takes offense and starts intimidating my wife asking if she knows how long it takes to clean a clock, and had we left it at shop longer would have been properly fixed! Says he would give us refund, then reverses himself and says he will fix it. By this point his abrasiveness turns my wife off to point that she refuses to let him back in. As he walks away he yells "BITCH" and "F--- YOU." I visit store today and ask for refund. He says clock still under warranty so no refund. He flashes his anger characterizing wife and I as "condescending." Demands what I know about clock repair, asserts 3 months is acceptable, peppers rant with all imaginable 4-letter words, and ends coming from behind counter, walking towards me, pointing to the door and demanding that I get out of his store.

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