- The Washington Times - Friday, August 30, 2002

Images of a bygone era, when Washington was a slower place, are gently evoked by the farmhouse at 5827 Utah Ave. NW.

This Chevy Chase farmhouse originally rested on several acres, and when it was built in 1910, neighboring homes were built on either side by a family of three brothers. Only three families have owned this home in the past century, and it has not been on the market for 30 years.

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Priced at $1.8 million, the home rests on a lot of nearly .75-acre, an unusual amount of land for this neighborhood. The corner lot features a deep front lawn with mature trees and garden beds that allow for privacy. A long driveway winds along the perimeter of the property providing access from both Nebraska and Utah avenues.

A portico over the drive adjacent to the front porch offers protection in inclement weather, and the three-car garage at the rear of the property has its original sliding wood doors. Plenty of guest parking is available along the driveway for entertaining large groups.

In addition to the front yard and the driveway, the extensive land around this property allows for a fully fenced side yard perfect for children's play equipment, and there's a second fenced area at the back of the home that could be converted to a patio or garden.

Many of the original features of the home, such as hardwood flooring and many of the antique glass windows, remain in place. One of the advantages of the limited number of owners of this property is that no renovations have marred the original structure. New owners may want to modernize the kitchen and the bathrooms and can also expand the living space by finishing the attic, lower level and carriage house.

The carriage house complements the main house with its white-painted stucco exterior, blue shutters and Vermont red slate roof. It would make a perfect guesthouse, private home office or studio.

The main house retains its original grace and style, with a wonderful robin's-egg-blue front porch awaiting wicker furniture and flowerpots for the perfect summer setting. Hooks are already in place in the beadboard white-painted ceiling for hanging baskets or a ceiling fan.

The blue porch creates a cheery contrast to the red front door and white stucco exterior of this home, and it all blends well with the blue shutters and the unusual red slate roof.

Inside, the farmhouse features a traditional center hall floor plan, with refinished hardwood flooring that includes darker inlaid wood in the formal rooms. The elaborate original moldings reflect the elegance of an earlier age, and the original pocket doors that connect most of the main-level rooms are in excellent condition.

The formal living room has two sets of pocket doors, bay windows, a fireplace and 18-inch detailed crown moldings. The elegant formal dining room has built-in cabinets with leaded glass doors, bay windows and crown moldings.

At the front of the home on the opposite side of the foyer is the family room or study, which also has a fireplace and a closet. Pocket doors connect this room with the corner library, which has built-in bookcases.

The country kitchen has access to the covered back porch and an unusual divided layout with a butler's pantry almost as large as the main kitchen. A rear staircase leads to the upper level, and nearby is a powder room.

The abundant size of the main-level rooms is matched on the upper level by five graceful bedrooms. In addition to a gently arched hallway ceiling, handsome hardwood flooring and original glass in most of the windows, many of the rooms on this level have the original glass doorknobs on the paneled wood doors.

The two front bedrooms flank a large landing with a window, and each has either two closets or a wall of mirrored closets. The five bedrooms have a total of nine closets, of which five are walk-in closets. Two large linen closets are off the hallway, along with two full baths, each with a combination shower and tub.

At the rear of this level, a door opens onto a balcony or porch over the covered back porch. Most likely, this was used as sleeping porch by the home's original owners.

A full-size wooden staircase leads from the upper-level landing to an attic with plenty of potential expansion space. This fully floored room has 9-foot ceilings and windows offering exposure to the south, east and west. Several rooms could be created out of the available space for a spectacular master suite, home office/family room or guest suite.

The lower level has been partially finished and has an outside entrance. Currently, this level has a large laundry room, utility and storage rooms, and a full bath. The multiple rooms on this level could be converted into a recreation room or exercise room.

With its graceful architecture and expansive rooms, this turn-of-the-century farmhouse awaits a few modernizing touches to create the perfect home for the 21st century.

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