- The Washington Times - Friday, September 4, 2009

Newcomers to the District may be drawn to the hip neighborhoods of 14th Street and the U Street corridor, Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle, but they shouldn’t overlook the old-fashioned Washington charm on the side streets linking these hot areas. Crescent Place Northwest curves in a U-shape and connects to Belmont Street Northwest, wrapping around two venerable Washington mansions, Meridian House and the White-Meyer House, which have now been combined into Meridian International Center.

Strolling along this quiet tree-lined street, it is easy to imagine 1920s Washington, when this area of the city served as a hillside haven from the summer heat. In addition to the elegant mansions, Crescent Place includes a handful of Georgian Revival-style co-op buildings with stone and brick exteriors.

At 1661 Crescent Place NW, Unit 509 is a two-bedroom, one-bath home now on the market for $499,990. Touted as one of Washington’s “best addresses” in the 1960s, this co-op building was completed in 1926. The formal stone and brick facade includes an elegant awning for a covered entrance and is flanked by private gardens defined by columns. Distinctive features include high ceilings, moldings, plaster walls and mosaic tile floors in the lobby.

The building includes a controlled-access intercom system and a 24-hour desk in the lobby, which has a coffered ceiling, extensive sitting areas and multiple sets of French doors leading to the gardens. One of the gardens is completely enclosed to create a pet-friendly environment. A roof deck offers residents a private city oasis with a 360-degree skyline view. The building amenities also include a parking garage with assigned parking, a bike area and extra storage.

Recent upgrades to the building include a new roof; air conditioning in all common areas; renovated, automated elevators; and landscaping improvements. (The co-op is currently improving the hallway lighting and painting all the common areas.)

Residents can walk to two Metro stations, Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan and the U Street corridor, or stay right in the neighborhood for the Sunday-afternoon drum circle gatherings at Meridian Hill Park. Bus stops and a grocery store are also within walking distance.

The owners of this home embraced blending old-fashioned charm and modern sensibilities, restoring the original hardwood floors while adding a built-in computer station and ceiling fans and creating an open floor plan. The home faces west and receives afternoon sun through new tall windows with wood blinds. Each room has high ceilings and light-colored plaster walls, which add to the sense of space in this 1,100-square-foot home.

The front door opens into a narrow foyer with a deep coat closet and a half-wall with a cutout allowing a glimpse of the main living area. This open space stretches from the living area into a dining area to a pass-through to the sleekly renovated kitchen.

The kitchen includes subway tiles, hardwood floors, upgraded stainless steel and black appliances and myriad cabinets, which reach to the ceiling. At one end of the kitchen is a second door to the hallway, a tall pantry and a full-size stacked washer and dryer. At the opposite end is a built-in computer work station adjacent to a tall window.

A glass door separates the living area from the bedroom wing, adding privacy yet allowing light to filter from room to room. The master bedroom includes two windows and four closets. One of the closets has been outfitted with shelving to create a linen closet and another is a deep walk-in closet, while the two additional closets each have double doors and additional storage shelving above.

The second bedroom includes three oversized windows and has a closet just outside the door. The generous proportions of this room easily accommodate an armoire, if desired.Between the two bedrooms is a sunny, renovated tile bathroom.

The co-op fee for this home is $719.69 per month, which includes all taxes, parking, heat, water, a master insurance policy, snow and trash removal and all building maintenance. The only utility payment aside from this fee is an electric bill, but this home has gas radiator heat and gas water heating.

As with most 1920s buildings in the Washington area, this co-op features something few modern buildings can replicate: thick plaster walls, which reduces noise for all residents, and an old-fashioned elegance that permeates the entire property.

Address: 1661 Crescent Place NW, Unit 509, Washington, DC 20009

Age: Built in 1926

Price: $499,990

Size: About 1,100 square feet

Co-op association fee: $719.69 per month; includes taxes, parking, heat, hot water and building maintenance

Exterior features: Georgian Revival-style brick and stone midrise co-op building with private gardens, bike area, parking garage with one assigned space

Interior features: Two bedrooms and one bath; open living and dining area; a glass door separates the living area from the bedroom wing; renovated kitchen with pass-through to dining area, subway tiles and upgraded stainless steel and black appliances; stacked, full-size washer and dryer; built-in computer work station; hardwood floors; gas radiator heat; ceiling fans; new windows with wood blinds

Amenities: 24-hour desk in lobby; roof deck with 360-degree views; controlled-access intercom; pet-friendly building; storage; upgrades to the building include a new roof, air conditioning in all common areas, renovated, automated elevators and landscaping improvements

Close by: Walk to two Metro stops, grocery store, Meridian Hill Park, Metro bus stop, Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Kalorama and U Street neighborhoods

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Sheila Hansen of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 202/271-4324

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