- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Washington looks a lot different today than it did in 1895, when the home at 4121 Brandywine St. NW was built.

Grover Cleveland resided in the White House and the nearby Tenleytown neighborhood was a lot quieter. There were no shops and restaurants and Metro was a distant fantasy.

Tenleytown, the highest point in the city at 410 feet above sea level, today is home to a Best Buy, a Container Store, a Whole Foods Market, a Hollywood Video store and restaurants featuring food from around the globe, including Mexican, Chinese, Thai and others.

Residents of this neighborhood can stroll south on Wisconsin Avenue to the National Cathedral or hop on the Metro to explore any other neighborhood in the city.

Despite the lively city outside its door, the wood farmhouse on the corner of River Road and Brandywine Street retains its quiet dignity. The home has been restored and maintained over more than a century and still has such authentic elements as warm oak floors on the two upper levels.

Now on the market for $685,000, this charming home has about 2,300 square feet of living space and plenty of storage space in the unfinished basement. Three cars can be parked off-street in the driveway, which ends at a storage shed that could be converted to a one-car garage. Off-street parking is at a premium in this neighborhood.

The home is one block from the Tenleytown Metro station.

New condominiums in the area are often priced at more than $800,000 to $1,000,000 for less space and less charm.

In keeping with traditional farmhouses, this home is wider than it is deep, with a graceful wood facade painted pale yellow with gray and white trim.

Gardeners will be delighted with the planting beds at the front and side of the home, and both a flagstone patio and a wood front porch are available for enjoying pleasant weather.

In colder weather, residents may want to use the Franklin stove in the living room to warm the house. This 1886 stove can heat the main level of the home with ease.

The front door opens directly into the living room, which features warm oak flooring. At one end of the living room a box bay window has been added to expand the seating area and bring more light into the home. A ceiling fan has been placed in the living room.

An alcove with built-in shelving is on one side of the living room, and all the windows have miniblinds that will convey to the new owner. A coat closet is tucked underneath the stairs.

A structural column at the center of the main level provides separation for the living and dining areas and a backdrop for the wood stove.

The kitchen includes a tile backsplash, a window at one end, a beadboard ceiling, a pantry, a gas stove and a refrigerator.

A door leads from the kitchen to the lower level, where the true history of the home is apparent.

Deep stone walls and a low ceiling reveal that these rooms were used for storing fresh foods. Along one wall are multiple windows that are above street level and provide natural lighting for much of the basement.

A deep sink, a washer and dryer and a freezer provide practical elements for modern-day life, and several rooms are available for storage. A door leads to the side of the house to the storage shed and driveway.

Back on the main level, a narrow staircase at the rear of the home leads to the upper level. A renovated full bath is near the stairs on the first floor.

Upstairs, a window at the top of the stairs allows natural light to flow into the hall, which, like the rest of the upper level, has oak flooring. The hallway walls also include wood paneling.

The largest bedroom, at the front corner of the home, has three windows, a ceiling fan, a walk-in closet and a coffered ceiling.

The second bedroom, currently used as an office and guest bedroom, has high shelving and a window overlooking the front garden.

The third bedroom has a closet and two windows overlooking the garden.

At the back of the house are a linen closet and a second closet for storage. The fully renovated full bath includes a tall window and a combination tub and shower.

While a brand new condominium in a high rise has its appeal, so does owning a small corner of history in the heart of a vibrant city neighborhood.

Address: 4121 Brandywine St. NW, Washington, DC 20016

Community: American University Park

Age: Built in 1895

Price: $685,000

Size: About 2,300 square feet of living space on lot of 2,540 square feet

Taxes: $4,166 in 2005

Homeowner association fee: None

Exterior features: 19th-century farmhouse with yellow-painted wood, gray and white trim; picket fence around front and side gardens; front porch and patio.

Interior features: Three bedrooms; two full baths; restored hardwood flooring on the main and upper levels; living room with box bay window; dining room; coat closet; alcove with shelving; kitchen with window and door to the basement; full renovated bath on main level; three bedrooms upstairs; full renovated bath upstairs; unfinished basement with storage rooms, laundry machines and freezer.

Amenities: Off-street parking for three cars; storage shed that can be converted to one-car garage; wood stove; four room air conditioners; gas water heater; attic fan; electric heat; four ceiling fans.

Close by: One block from Tenleytown Metro station, shops and restaurants; easy access to Beltway or downtown Washington.

Open house: May 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Contact: Realtor Santiago Testa with Coldwell Banker Residential, 703/608-9268

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