- The Washington Times - Friday, August 9, 2002

When the owner of the four-level Victorian house at 1832 16th Street NW first contemplated buying the property two years ago, the place was "haunted" not by a ghost, but by its poor condition and sadly neglected rooms.

Built in 1892, this home is one of the few never to have been divided into apartments, so the essential architectural elements were all in place. Now renovated and on the market for $1.399 million, this stone and brick town home revels in its historic nature, yet has been upgraded with every possible modern convenience.

The owner took particular care to maintain as much of the original woodwork and plaster moldings as possible, even saving the crown moldings and ceiling medallion in the dining room when the ceiling was replaced.

The owner's collection of antique furnishings, unusual light fixtures and oriental rugs including antique Afghan and Chinese rugs blend perfectly with the home, and include such unique items as a carved mahogany refectory dining set with twelve matching chairs. The owner is willing to sell the home completely furnished for a total price of $1.499 million.

A waist-high wrought-iron gate leads into the front yard, which has been fully landscaped with a perennial garden and a custom-designed underground sprinkler system for easy maintenance. The green stone facade of the home includes intricate stone carving, arched windows, and a stone "Romeo-and-Juliet" balcony off one of the bedrooms. A stone stoop with another wrought-iron gate leads the way into the grand foyer.

Hardwood flooring with inlaid wood in a variety of patterns lies underfoot on the main level, and most rooms have 11-foot ceilings which add to the grandeur of the spaces. A wood staircase leads to the upper level, and features wood railings and an elaborately carved newel post.

To the left of the foyer are two broad archways leading into the living room and dining room. The living room includes a deep box-bay sitting alcove with three tall windows, and the original tile around the fireplace has been matched with a new marble hearth in similar tones. The high living room ceiling includes rectangular niches at regular intervals to add interest, and a magnificent crystal chandelier hangs in the center of the room.

The dining room has a matching chandelier, a fireplace and massive Corinthian columns under the arched doorway. The columns have been refinished to blend with the marble fireplace. All eight fireplaces have their original mantels, and all rooms also have the original radiators which feature carved flowers and vines. The gas hot water boiler system for the radiators offers four-zone heating, and the central air conditioning has a three-zone system.

At the back of the home is a dramatic granite kitchen open to a breakfast area, with one wall a granite fireplace with a uniquely carved wall above. A custom-designed lighting system creates different moods for the kitchen when entertaining, and the windows in this part of the house have iron grids for security. The kitchen includes a granite island, a six-burner stove and a Sub-Zero refrigerator. A side door leads to a main level deck overlooking the brick patio off the lower level. A new marble powder room is hidden under the stairs off the dining room.

The second level features a large front bedroom which opens onto the hall and onto the middle bedroom to form a suite if desired. The front bedroom has an alcove with tall windows and French doors to the "Romeo-and-Juliet" balcony. This large room can function as an upper level family room or elegant home office, and includes a fireplace. The adjacent bedroom also includes a fireplace, and is furnished with a handsome wardrobe with an agate top.

A new marble bath is accessed from the hallway. At the back of this level is a lovely bedroom, rounded at one end, with two tall windows flanking the home's only non-working fireplace. A closet has been added to this room, along with a wet bar including a refrigerator.

The third level includes two additional bedrooms, a new marble bath and access to the dramatic two-level master suite. The rear bedroom echoes the room below, with its rounded walls, tall windows and a marble fireplace.

Adjacent to this room is the bath, and then a smaller bedroom which currently functions as a home office. A closet in this bedroom has been converted to hold a full-size stacked washer and dryer. An ironing board is built into the door. A dramatic arts-and-crafts style wardrobe with built-in drawers and mirrors provides extra storage in this bedroom/office.

The unique master suite has 20-foot ceilings, a custom adjustable lighting scheme, an arched window with a carved iron screen which can be opened, a sitting alcove with several additional windows, and a custom all-cedar, room-sized closet. Against one wall is a fireplace surrounded by granite, and the granite continues as a baseboard and up the wall to the fourth level.

An iron spiral staircase leads to the fourth level, an unusual open full bath. Made entirely of granite on the floors and walls, open to the bedroom below, this bathroom includes a deep sunken tub and an open shower on one wall. A nearby alcove accommodates a commode and built-in drawers, and features a Palladian window looking into the main staircase.

Two granite vanities form the edges of a hallway with access to attic storage on either side. The hall includes more storage shelving and a wet-bar with an under-counter refrigerator, which provides for easy entertaining on the adjacent roof deck. The deck has been rebuilt with new decking and railings, and has a treetop view of the city. Handsome cast aluminum furniture and potted plants create a restful setting for relaxing or entertaining.

Every window on the front of the home, each of which is architecturally significant to the facade, was pulled out and rebuilt rather than being replaced. Cable, DSL and four telephone lines were all custom-wired by the phone company. Custom blinds and six ceiling fans were added as well.

The home has been zoned for operating a business from the basement level, which has been completely refurbished into a two-bedroom apartment. A black-and-white theme prevails in this apartment, which has a small bedroom and closet at the front, and an open living/dining area in the center.

The open black-and-white kitchen is all new, and includes a terra cotta tile floor. A full marble bath is located adjacent to the living room.

At the back of the apartment are a built-in desk, a large laundry room with space for storage, a large second bedroom, and a second full marble bath. Eleven windows add daylight to the apartment, and a glass door off the bedroom opens onto a tiny patio and allows more light to come into the room.

Another glass door leads to a fenced brick patio with space for a dining table or lounge chairs. Parking for three small cars or two larger cars lies behind the patio.

With the difficult work completed, new owners need only appreciate the beauty of this Victorian home, and enjoy its amenities, not the least of which is a location in the heart of the city.

Details

Address: 1832 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009-3316

Community: Dupont Circle

Age: Built 1892

Price: $1.399 million; or, fully furnished with antiques, Oriental rugs, furniture and fixtures, $1.499 million

Size: About 5,800 finished square feet on site of 2,000 square feet

Taxes: $6,851

Exterior features: Victorian-style stone-and-brick town house, green stone facade with intricate stone carving, fenced and landscaped perennial front garden, fenced brick patio, deck off main level, rear parking pad for two or three cars

Interior features: Eight bedrooms; five full marble baths; marble half-bath; eight fireplaces; restored mosaic hardwood flooring; grand entrance hall; arched entrances to formal living room and formal dining room; dramatic Corinthian columns; 11-foot and higher ceilings; intricate woodwork and plaster moldings; granite kitchen with six-burner stove and Sub-Zero refrigerator; wet bar in one bedroom; "Romeo and Juliet" stone balcony in front bedroom; cathedral ceiling and arched window in master suite; spiral staircase leading to granite full bath with open shower and sunken bath, wet bar and access to rooftop deck; finished lower-level two-bedroom apartment with 11 windows, new kitchen, two marble baths with windows; living-dining room, laundry room.

Amenities: Roof deck with treetop views, four-zone radiator hot-water gas-fueled heating system, three-zone central air conditioning, underground sprinkler system, walk-in attic storage space

Close by: Dupont Circle, downtown Washington, Adams Morgan, Georgetown

Open house: Sunday, Aug. 11, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Contact: Realtor Jeff Lockard of Tutt, Taylor & Rankin Real Estate at 202/939-1205



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