- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2005

Washington’s elegant formal parties are known around the world for their sophistication, with their mix of politicians and diplomats mingling with media and cultural personalities, with a few lawyers and business tycoons rounding out the groups.

But rarely are homes available for sale that suit this level of entertaining, particularly a home with the addition of office space, exercise rooms, casual family areas and the bonus of a Potomac River view.

Such a home doesn’t come inexpensively, particularly one with about 12,000 finished square feet. Now on the market for $7,700,000, the home at 626 Chain Bridge Road in McLean offers all the above and, best of all, a location within minutes of Georgetown, downtown Washington and McLean.

This custom Georgian Colonial home, built in 1989, has a wrought-iron gate that opens onto a central courtyard with brick paving stones and parking areas for multiple cars. The dramatic front of the home includes a pillared front porch with a second porch above, and the attached three-car garage includes an elegant brick facade with arches over each parking bay and living space above.

A 20-foot automatic flagpole, controlled by timers, presides over the courtyard.

A two-story limestone portico with columns frames the massive wood front door, which has a Palladian-style leaded glass window above and French doors on either side.

French doors have been placed in every possible room, allowing the entire main level to be open to the breezes when entertaining.

In pleasant weather, a string quartet can be placed on the upper-level porch to welcome arriving guests, then moved indoors to the upper-level gallery that overlooks the foyer and loggia.

While formal living and dining rooms have been placed for elegant entertaining, this home also includes reception areas for larger parties. The foyer includes a grand staircase with a wrought-iron and brass rail, with hardwood flooring leading into the reception hall.

Beyond the reception hall is the loggia, which has a wall of windows and atrium doors leading to the stone terrace outside and framing views of the trees and the Potomac River, which becomes more visible in winter.

The loggia includes hardwood and marble flooring, recessed lighting, crown and dentil moldings and space for a grand piano. A circular staircase leads to the lower-level loggia for more entertaining space.

The main level also includes a formal living room with hardwood flooring placed in a herringbone pattern, moldings, recessed lighting, atrium doors to the terrace and a fireplace with an antique marble mantel.

The formal dining room includes the same flooring, a crystal chandelier, a ceiling medallion, elaborate moldings and a fireplace with an antique marble mantel.

The library includes another fireplace, a full wet bar with a refrigerator, a brass chandelier and atrium doors that lead to brick steps to the lower garden, where a brick terrace is lined with garden beds and a lawn. A charming family room is located off the kitchen, with a marble fireplace, three sets of atrium doors leading to the rear terrace and hardwood flooring.

The center-island kitchen includes hardwood flooring, Corian counters, a bay window with a shelf over the triple sink, extensive bleached wood cabinets and upgraded appliances including a wine refrigerator, two Sub-Zero refrigerators, two dishwashers, double-wall oven and a six-burner gas cooktop.

In addition to the center-island breakfast bar, this kitchen includes a pass-through to the breakfast area, which has two atrium doors to the front of the home.

The upper-level gallery includes atrium doors leading to the upper-level porch at the front of the home, plus plenty of space for seating or placing musicians during a party. The master suite covers the entire rear of the home, with a double-door entrance leading into a foyer with French doors to a balcony overlooking the Potomac River.

The large bedroom includes a fireplace with an antique marble mantel, recessed lighting and tall windows on two sides. A sitting room between the foyer and the closets and baths includes a juice bar with a refrigerator.

His-and-hers closets each include floor-to-ceiling walls of built-in shelves and dressers.

His-and-hers baths are connected by a glass-enclosed, walk-through shower with two sets of multiple shower heads. His bath includes a skylight and marble vanity, while her section has a whirlpool tub set under a window with river view, marble flooring and custom marble vanities.

A laundry room with a stacked washer-and-dryer and cabinets is placed adjacent to the master bath.

The upper level also includes a guest bedroom suite with a marble fireplace and a room-sized walk-in closet. The third bedroom includes a large closet and private marble bath.

The lower level features a loggia with a flagstone floor and atrium doors leading to the rear patio. Near the loggia is a recreation room with a wall of built-in bookshelves and cabinets, a marble fireplace and an atrium door to the patio. Nearby is an expansive exercise room with maple hardwood flooring, a sauna, a full bath, recessed lighting and an atrium door to the brick patio.

A secondary kitchen is in the center of the lower level and includes a refrigerator, a stove, a dishwasher, Corian counters, a white ceramic-tile floor and a pass-through to the loggia for easy entertaining.

A bedroom with an atrium door to the rear patio, a wall of built-in bookcases and shelves, several closets and a private full bath is nearby. The lower level also includes a second powder room near the loggia, walls of shelving along the hall, storage and utility rooms, a laundry room with floor-to-ceiling shelving, a custom gift-wrapping room and a small home office for a computer station and files.

Stairs from both the lower level and main level link the main house to the annex, or “west wing” as the owners call it. On the main level the annex includes the three-car garage, a service entrance to the home, a powder room and a breezeway to the main house lined with custom silver and china cabinets. These cabinets include locking drawers lined with velvet.

The upper-level breezeway includes walls of windows on both sides linking the annex and the house. The annex includes a study with recessed lighting, a full bath and a bedroom with a marble fireplace, a wall of closets and an atrium door to a front balcony with a circular staircase leading to the side parking area. This suite of rooms can function as a private home office or an in-law suite.

In addition to their attention to aesthetic details in this custom-designed home, the owners added a generator with the capacity to run all appliances, heating and air conditioning for 14 days. The property also has complete security and fire detection systems.

Address: 626 Chain Bridge Road, McLean VA 22101

Community: Chain Bridge

Age: Built in 1989

Price: $7,700,000

Size: About 12,000 square feet on lot of 1 acre

Taxes: $35,028 in 2005

Homeowners’ association fee: None

Exterior features: Custom brick mansion with slate roof; gated entrance and brick courtyard; front porch plus second-level porch; garden beds and mature trees and lawn areas; three-car garage and additional parking area.

Interior features: Five bedrooms; seven full baths; three powder rooms; two-level foyer and loggia with hardwood and marble flooring; library; living room; dining room; family room and breakfast room flanking expansive kitchen; upper gallery overlooking foyer; master bedroom with balcony, bedroom; sitting room, his-and-hers baths and his-and-hers walk-in closets plus second laundry room; two additional upper-level bedrooms, each with private bath; lower-level loggia for entertaining, with recreation room, second kitchen for catering; exercise room with sauna; laundry room; fifth bedroom with full bath; small home office, storage rooms and custom-designed gift wrapping room; two-level annex with custom-designed storage closets on main level with powder room, upper-level breezeway with study, bedroom with balcony and full bath.

Amenities: Potomac River views; eight fireplaces; multiple stone terraces, brick patio with garden beds; automatic flagpole controlled by timers; zoned heat and air conditioning; central vacuum; retractable screens on main-level atrium doors; security system; generator for 14 days of power.

Close by: One block to Chain Bridge; minutes from Georgetown and downtown Washington, easy access to McLean.

Schools: Franklin Sherman Elementary; Longfellow Middle; McLean High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Diane Bellaschi of Long & Foster Realtors at 703/790-1990.

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