- The Washington Times - Friday, January 5, 2001

A charming stone Tudor-style cottage, within walking distance of C&O; Canal National Park, is on the market in the sought-after Cabin John area of Montgomery County.
The three-bedroom house, built around 1930, has been expanded by its present owners, Vinod and Barbara Dar, to include a rear 1,000-square-foot great room with a roof deck.
The price of $759,000 includes a separate one-bedroom guest house with a second-floor balcony that is connected by a small iron staircase to the roof deck of the main house.
The spacious roof deck is also accessible from a window in the master bedroom and from a winding iron staircase that rises from a rear stone patio.
Mr. and Mrs. Dar, who bought the house in 1987, are only its second owners. They created the guest house by converting a two-car detached garage. There, Mr. Dar has a business office on the first floor. The guest house's second floor has a spacious bedroom suite with wood paneled walls and a wooden vaulted ceiling with a skylight and ceiling fan fixture.
In the main house, the entry foyer and formal living and dining rooms are essentially unchanged from the 1930s, with their original oak flooring and natural oak woodwork. A fireplace in the living room was built of stone from a Cabin John quarry. The mantel is a large single slab of stone.
The Dars installed a tile-topped breakfast bar in the kitchen with a pass-through to the dining room. The kitchen has its original porcelain sink with big porcelain drain boards on each side, as well as a classic 1950s electric stove that the house's original owner won in a cooking contest.
Also on the first floor is a bright Florida room with an accent wall of stone and a door to the yard.
In the great room outside of the kitchen is another stone accent wall originally an exterior wall of the house.
The huge oval great room contains an informal dining area, where the Dars have a table that seats 10 or more people. It also includes a sunken family room area, two steps down, where they have a couch and TV set among other furniture. This room has a Mexican tile floor and 17 windows plus two stained-glass doors to the yard. It has a detailed wood ceiling and a ceiling fan-light fixture. The Dars added a unique touch a support column for the room made from the trunk of a large cedar tree that was cut down in the back yard to make way for the addition.
The Mexican tile theme was carried over into the first floor of the guest house.
The main house has three bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. The powder room is off the entry foyer, and there are two bedrooms and two baths on the second floor. The third bedroom and third bath are on the lower level, which the Dars finished to also include a paneled library with built-in bookshelves. Flooring on the lower level is hardwood.
The Dars had a carpenter build an oak staircase with banister and newel post to the lower level to match the existing oak staircase between the first and second floors.
The staircase to the lower level has a banister that lifts out to make it easier to move furniture down the stairs. There is a door to the side yard from a landing a few steps down from the first floor but no door from the lower level to the outdoors.
The entrance to the lower-level library has a unique glass-paned pocket door. There is a secret doorway behind a movable bookcase between the library and the basement furnace room. The laundry room also is on the lower level.
The second floor originally had three bedrooms and the Dars combined two of them to create a master bedroom suite with a large walk-in cedar closet and private bath. There is a nice-sized second-floor hall with pull-down steps in the ceiling that lead to attic storage space.
The house has a lot of curb appeal, with its classic original architecture highlighted by an arched stone entry. Two stone columns topped by carriage lamps flank the driveway and there is a wrought-iron gate that opens between them.
The property, which is on MacArthur Boulevard, is slightly less than half an acre. It is level and mostly fenced. The driveway accommodates parking for five or six cars.
A raised stone planter runs along one side of the house. Behind the guest house is a raised stone patio in addition to the stone patio behind the main house.
The property is about one mile inside the Beltway, two blocks from Seven Locks Road. A post office and stores are close by at MacArthur Boulevard and Seven Locks Road. Shopping in Potomac is four miles away. Bethesda also is convenient. It is about 10 miles to Georgetown.
The C&O; Canal towpath is a block or two away as the crow flies, but a three- or four-block walk via a bridge crossing the Clara Barton Parkway, which runs parallel to the canal. On the other side of the canal is the Potomac River. Athletic residents hike or bike the towpath east to Georgetown or west to Great Falls.


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