- The Washington Times - Friday, August 10, 2001

Contemporary houses from the 1950s are a rarity in the District, a city known more for its Federal-style town houses and Colonial mansions. A classic example of the contemporary homes from that era, however, rests on a secluded lot in the Kent neighborhood of Northwest and is on the market for $1.35 million.

Dramatic walls of glass and sliding-glass doors cover the back of the house and frame views of tall trees, a flagstone terrace and garden beds. The open floor plan allows for easy entertaining in this 4,000-square-foot home, and the high ceilings and skylights add an airy brightness to the rooms despite the wooded setting.

Located on at the end of a secluded road, the house at 2970 University Terrace needs a little updating but offers the possibility of a unique estate. It is nestled on three-quarters of an acre and practically surrounded by bamboo, maple and pine trees, with a carefully created lawn in the center and hedges that add more privacy.

The mix of homes nearby includes a recently constructed stucco mansion, Colonial homes and a handful of contemporary cousins of this house. This particular lot, however, offers the most seclusion to its owners and their guests.

There is room for expansion, either by replacing the existing carport on the side of the house or by building out to the back. The level lawn and garden area, which has been cleared of trees, has the potential of holding a swimming pool without displacing the flagstone terrace.

In its current configuration, the house has two finished levels, which focus on the views out the back of the house. The open floor plan has a great room at the center that functions as a living and dining area and includes a fireplace at one end. A large wet bar with a door allows for easy entertaining.

At the back of the great room near the wet bar is a den or study with built-in bookshelves and a cozy atmosphere. (Built-in bookcases and shelving can be found throughout the house.) On the other side of the great room is a large kitchen open to an adjacent breakfast area, which also could function as a comfortable family room.

The open kitchen has a center island and a built-in oven surrounded by exposed brick and is fully equipped with updated appliances. This level also has a full bath for use by guests.

In one corner of the main level is the master suite, which has sliding-glass doors to a private deck overlooking the trees and garden. Two walk-in closets with plenty of built-in drawers and shelving have been added to this room, which has a private full bath and skylights.

Two additional bedrooms are found on the lower level along with two more full baths.

Casual entertaining and family life are accommodated on the lower level in the recreation room or family room, which has a raised-hearth brick fireplace as its focal point. Wood-paneled walls and built-in bookshelves add warmth to this gracious room. The lower level also includes a laundry room, utility room and storage room.

The buyers may choose to keep this contemporary design as is and enjoy its large open rooms and lovely nature views, or they may want to update and modernize it with new carpet, replacements for the linoleum in the kitchen and family room or new wall treatments.

Either way, the site provides a private setting unusual for a neighborhood just minutes from MacArthur Boulevard's shops, restaurants and conveniences and the night life available in Georgetown and downtown Washington. A tranquil spot such as this seems as if it should exist in a faraway suburb, not in the middle of a city neighborhood.


Address: 2970 University Terrace NW, Washington, D.C. 20016
Community: Kent
Age: Built 1958
Price: $1.35 million
Size: About 4,000 square feet on a lot of .73 acres
Taxes: $7,301 in 2000
Exterior features: Brick-and-frame contemporary-style exterior with dramatic sloping roof, attached carport, hidden lot with tall bamboo for shade and privacy.
Interior features: Three bedrooms, four full baths, high ceilings, open updated center-island kitchen with adjacent breakfast area, walls of glass across back of house, dining area, living area with wet bar, master suite with access to private deck on main level, lower-level family room with brick raised-hearth fireplace and built-in bookcases, gas heat and hot water, central air conditioning.
Amenities: Secluded road leads to hidden location; patio, terrace with pergola, garden beds and level lawn for outdoor entertaining.
Close by: Minutes to shops and restaurants on MacArthur Boulevard; Georgetown, downtown, Maryland, and Virginia via Chain Bridge.
Open house: By appointment.
Contact: Realtors Nancy Itteilag at 202/905-7762 or Nancy Bulger at 202/333-6100, Ext. 420 of Pardoe Real Estate.

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