- - Thursday, October 6, 2011

In 1960, Jube B. Shiver Sr. dreamed of building a community with close-knit neighbors who would watch one another’s children and pets, care for their homes and gardens and enjoy amicable neighborhood gatherings.

Fifty years later, some of the original families of the community Shiver built, Randall Estates just south of Alexandria, are still living in their homes. An annual community picnic brings together new families with longtime residents, while homeowners often gather to admire one another’s yards and help one another through winter or summer storms.

The home at 2200 Shiver Drive in Randall Estates, designed and built in 1966 by Jerome Lindsey, an architect from Howard University, includes elements of Bauhaus and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural styles. The current owners, just the second to live in this residence, have maintained the integrity of the 1960s design while updating a few features and increasing the home’s energy efficiency.

The home is on the market for $539,000.


The custom-designed brick home is flooded with natural light through double rows of floor-to-ceiling picture windows in nearly every room. The home’s current owners replaced the original glass with triple-pane windows with Argon gas for maximum energy-efficiency, resulting in lower energy bills. The owners also added a solar water heater with a gas water heater as a backup and purchased a generator for use in power outages. The home has both solar and gas heat, with a three-zone gas heat system installed by the original builder. In addition, the property has central air conditioning and a security system.

While these systems add to residents’ comfort, the home also has plenty of aesthetic appeal. The half-acre lot fits in with the neighborhood, with rows of mature trees rather than a fence defining the space. The front lawn and shrubs provide curb appeal, while the backyard includes plenty of grassy areas for children to play, a vegetable garden and a garden shed. A driveway provides off-street parking.

Inside, the home includes high ceilings with cove lighting; hardwood, slate and cork flooring on the main level; oak stairs; and wood laminate flooring on the lower level. The distinctive style of the home is established from the moment the front door opens into the slate foyer, where clean architectural lines and open, exposed-beam walls enable the living areas to be visible immediately. Exposed-brick walls add warmth to the foyer and to the living room and dining room.

The foyer’s patterned flagstone floor is repeated on the hearth of the decorative fireplace in the dining room. The dining room, which faces the front lawn, includes hardwood flooring and a dramatic high ceiling with cove lighting. On the other side of the decorative fireplace is the living room, which has a wood-burning fireplace, hardwood flooring and a wall of windows facing the expansive backyard. The living room has high ceilings with cove lighting and a glass door to the yard.

The kitchen, which has space for a casual dining table, also has a floor-to-ceiling window facing the backyard, plus a door to the yard. The owners added a cork floor to the kitchen and added light-colored granite counters. They opted to keep the original birch cabinets because of their distinctive style but upgraded the appliances and added cove lighting and a new kitchen faucet.

One wall of the kitchen includes a built-in desk with a granite top and open shelving above. Two pantry closets flank the desk. Swing doors can be used to close off the kitchen from the living room and the hall, keeping warm air contained in the kitchen during the summer months for energy efficiency.

A door on the opposite side of the foyer from the living spaces leads to the bedroom wing. Hardwood flooring extends from the hall and into each of the four bedrooms.

The master bedroom, at the front corner of the home, has floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides, a deep walk-in closet and a private full bath. The two bathrooms on this level have the original tile flooring but updated fixtures. All four bedrooms have cove lighting.

The second bedroom, which faces the backyard, has floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides and a double-door closet. The third bedroom has a floor-to-ceiling window facing the backyard and has a double-door closet. Across the hall is the fourth bedroom, currently used as a home office, with tall windows framing a view of the front lawn. It also has a double-door closet.

Oak stairs lead to the lower level, which has laminate flooring throughout. This level has a recreation room with paneled walls and an adjacent exercise room. Nearby is a full bath with ceramic tile flooring and an updated contemporary shower with rounded glass walls. In addition, this level has a storage room and a laundry room with a door leading to steps to the backyard.

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