- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 6, 2005

Georgetown, incorporated in 1751 when the Maryland Assembly authorized a town on the Potomac River, has spent recent years as the fashionable quarter of Washington.

The town was incorporated by Congress as part of Washington in 1871, long after it had established itself as a shipping center with a profitable European and West Indian trade.

Georgetown today is known for politicians, journalists, attorneys and diplomats; its earlier prominent inhabitants were prosperous ship owners and businessmen.

Wharves, flour mills, textile mills and a paper factory were built along the waterfront in the late 1700s; successful merchants built their homes up the hill above the waterfront on Prospect Street and N Street Northwest.

Francis Wheatley, co-founder of a flourishing lumber business in the mid-1800s, built three adjoining houses along N Street between 30th and 31st streets, which originally included tunnels between the homes.

Today, the Federal-style Wheatley home at 3043 N St. NW has been placed on the market for $2,400,000. An addition to the property expanded the living space to more than 3,700 square feet in 1990, and this home enjoys one of Georgetown’s deepest lots, with a hidden, professionally designed garden.

The distinguished brick exterior features Williamsburg blue trim around the front windows, which reach from the floor to the ceiling on the upper three levels.

In addition to the formal front entrance into the main level, there is a second entrance into a lower-level area near the kitchen and dining room.

The first floor features an elegant entrance foyer into a vestibule with a second set of doors. Hardwood flooring has been restored or replaced throughout the home, and the sweeping wood stairs leading to the upper levels feature detailed wood trim.

The main level has two generously proportioned living rooms, each with a marble fireplace, high ceilings and pocket doors.

Floor-to-ceiling windows with built-in hidden shutters overlook N Street, and a large living room gilt mirror will convey to the buyers.

Toward the rear of this level are a powder room and a rear addition, which includes a garden room with a wall of windows and French doors opening onto a balcony overlooking the back yard.

The charming rear garden, enclosed by brick walls and fences, includes brick seating areas, garden beds, trees, and watering and lighting systems.

This space would be perfect for elegant soirees on summer evenings or for simply relaxing in peace in the middle of bustling Georgetown.

At the end of the garden is a brick garden house, which is original to the property and has been renovated with electricity, wood floors and a copper roof.

Inside the home, the second level, reached by the elegant wood staircase, features the master suite.

A garden room addition off the bedroom overlooks the back yard, and the bedroom includes a fireplace with a marble mantel. Adjacent to the bedroom is the master bath.

At the front of the home is a sunny sitting room with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows, a space that can function as an additional bedroom if desired.

A large hall and landing outside this room includes a tall window overlooking N Street.

This space could function as a casual sitting area or a reading corner or be converted into a small but functional home office.

Wood stairs lead to the third floor of the residence, which has two more gracious bedrooms with fireplaces. A large full bath is located off the main hall on this level. The front bedroom features a rooftop view of the Potomac River in the distance.

In traditional Colonial homes, the kitchen was located on the ground floor so cooking smells and heat would not affect the residents upstairs.

The Wheatley home has kept this original floor plan but with an expanded, modernized center-island kitchen with maple cabinets, some with glass fronts. The lower-level entrance to the home is adjacent to the kitchen for easy access when bringing in groceries.

At the center of this level is the formal dining room, where sophisticated dinner parties can be held as easily as informal family gatherings.

Beyond the dining room is a breakfast room overlooking a flagstone courtyard.

French doors link the breakfast room with the courtyard, where guests can be entertained with ease.

The courtyard includes built-in storage areas for wood and a staircase to the main garden. This level also has a powder room, a laundry room and a utility room.

Though Georgetown has regained its reputation for sophisticated residences since its economic decline from the 1890s and 1930s, the simple, elegant style of its brick and stone row houses has remained unchanged.

Wheatley likely would find the facade of the three homes he built remarkably recognizable, but he probably would be shocked by the lack of shipping and manufacturing along the Potomac.

Georgetown’s commercial areas along Wisconsin Avenue and M Street might not be as surprising, as these streets were home to hotels, taverns, banks and other commercial enterprises in the Federal period, as they are today.

New owners will relish their proximity to the shops, restaurants and night life of Georgetown while enjoying their own piece of its history.

More info:

Address: 3043 N St. NW, Washington, DC 20007

Community: Georgetown

Age: Built 1857, renovations/addition 1990, 1992

Price: $2,400,000

Size: 3,714 finished square feet on homesite of 2,694 square feet

Taxes: $9,597 in 2004

Exterior features: Brick Colonial-style row house with steps to main-level entrance, lower-level entrance, sunken flagstone courtyard with built-in storage for wood, staircase to main garden

Interior features: Four bedrooms; two full baths; two powder rooms; hardwood flooring; marble fireplaces; elegant foyer and center hall with wood stairs; two living rooms with pocket doors, floor-to-ceiling windows at front of house; rear garden room with French doors to balcony and garden; second-level master suite with fireplace, garden room addition, master bath, sitting room or additional bedroom with fireplace, large open hallway and landing with window; third floor with two bedrooms with fireplaces, full bath, rooftop views to Potomac River; lower level with kitchen, separate dining room, breakfast room overlooking flagstone courtyard, powder room and laundry room.

Amenities: Professionally designed garden with brick seating areas and built-in watering and lighting systems, plus original brick garden house renovated with wood floors, copper roof and electricity; wood floors; two large mirrors convey with property.

Close by: Walk to M Street and Wisconsin Avenue shops and restaurants, easy access to downtown Washington, Kennedy Center, Dupont Circle, local parks.

Open house: By appointment.

Contact: Realtor Margaret Menkart of Tutt, Taylor & Rankin Real Estate at 202/338-7450; www.homevisit.com/dc5108269

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