- The Washington Times - Friday, October 12, 2001

Cleveland Park, the beloved Northwest Washington neighborhood between Connecticut and Wisconsin avenues, features charming older homes gently placed along narrow tree-lined streets.

Neighbors from the Victorian and Cape Cod-style homes visit on each other's front porches and organize block parties and progressive dinners as if they were residents of small-town America rather than the nation's capital. That small-town ambience is part of what draws people to the neighborhood, along with its proximity to shops and restaurants, Metro stops, the Uptown movie theater and the Cleveland Park branch of the D.C. Public Library.

One of the area's older homes, built in 1909, is a Victorian charmer at 3411 34th Place. It is now on the market for $1.198 million. It is painted in two shades of blue with bright white columns defining the deep front porch. The home was renovated in 1997 and 2000.

Perhaps its most appealing feature is the romantic front porch, with its blue-painted wood floor, two ceiling fans and a white-painted wood ceiling. Wicker furniture and hanging baskets were invented for a front porch like this one, set back from the street with enough privacy for reading in peace, yet with enough space for a party when the owners are in the mood for company.

Victorian-style double parlors flank the foyer, which has a traditional turned staircase. The entire home has hardwood flooring, detailed crown moldings and wood trim around the doors and windows. Modernizations have complemented these old-fashioned features with the larger windows and skylights that help to fill the home with sunlight, and ceiling fans have been installed extensively.

One of the front parlors, which could also function as a dining room, has a bay window and a chandelier. The other parlor features a bay window and a corner fireplace with an elaborately detailed mantel. Behind this parlor is a large dining room with another fireplace and large windows and a glass door overlooking the deck.

Next to the dining room is the kitchen, renovated in 1997, which has handsome oak cabinets, granite counters, a gas cooktop and separate grill, a double oven, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a built-in microwave and a walk-in pantry. The subtle blend of the oak cabinets, granite counters and hardwood flooring allows this thoroughly modern kitchen to complement the old-fashioned home.

One corner of this large kitchen has been designed as a family room/sunroom space, with a fireplace against one wall, windows and a French door overlooking the deck and back yard, and four huge skylights overhead. Underneath the windows are extra cabinets that match the rest of the kitchen, including a granite counter that could serve as a perfect low buffet or bar when entertaining a crowd.

The second-level master suite is a large rectangular space with several closets. It includes built-in shelving and a fireplace at the center of one wall. The private master bath, renovated in 1997, features a huge picture window over the bathtub that fills the entire bathroom with light.

Two additional large bedrooms on this level share a hall bath, which was also renovated in 1997 and includes a large picture window, as well. The front bedroom has a wall of built-in shelves and drawers surrounding a built-in desk, perfect for a student or for use as a home office.

The third level features an innovative architectural style that takes advantage of the home's peaked roof. Two equally sized bedrooms fill most of this level, each with a wall of windows at one end and high ceilings with visible structural support beams crisscrossing the rooms.

Each room has a strip of mirror across the top central wall that reflects the light from the window wall, serving almost as an additional window. Both rooms are spacious and seem even larger because of the built-in shelving and built-in desks or vanities under the windows. Each room even includes a set of drawers set deep into the wall adjacent to the closet. The bedrooms share a connecting bath with built-in storage and several angled windows that create almost a puzzlelike effect. The staircase leading to this level includes a large skylight that can be opened.

The lower level, renovated in 2000, features dramatically painted exposed pipes and beams for a slightly art deco touch in the recreation room or children's playroom. A large bedroom with a closet and window is in one corner of this level, near a full bath. An outside entrance leads to the side of the house and makes this level a pleasant au pair suite. Other rooms on the lower level include a large laundry room with a storage closet and two unfinished storage rooms.

While the charming Victorian exterior of this 34th Place home draws sighs of delight from passers-by, the inside provides surprisingly extensive space for family living and entertaining. With four finished levels and outdoor living space on the front porch, rear deck and back yard, even a large family could find room to enjoy city living.

Details

Address: 3411 34th Place NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

Community: Cleveland Park

Age: Built in 1909, renovated 1997 and 2000

Price: $1.198 million

Size: Lot of 5,000 square feet

Taxes: $5,099

Exterior features: Victorian-style blue-and-white siding with columned front porch; fully fenced, level back yard; rear deck with access from dining room and family room.

Interior features: Six bedrooms; four full baths; one half-bath; double front parlors on either side of foyer, each with a bay window overlooking the porch; skylit dining room with French doors to deck and a fireplace; renovated kitchen with adjacent family room/sunroom with a fireplace and skylights; master suite with fireplace and renovated bath; finished third level with two large bedrooms with built-ins and exposed beamed ceiling, shared bath; finished lower level with recreation room, sixth bedroom and full bath, laundry/storage rooms.

Amenities: Deep front porch, four fireplaces, hardwood flooring, gas hot water heating, two-zone air conditioning.

Close by: Walking distance to Metro, shops and restaurants of Cleveland Park, Rock Creek Park, easy access to downtown Washington

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtors Susan Berger and Ellen Sandler of Evers & Co., 202/364-1700

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