- The Washington Times - Friday, January 11, 2002

When the owners of the home at 2800 Bellevue Terrace in the Observatory Circle neighborhood of Northwest Washington bought their house 20 years ago, it had the charm of a Tudor-style home along with the style's classic darkness. The owners have enjoyed transforming this home into a lighter, sunnier version of itself.

This pleasant place, now on the market for $625,000, has been a home where friends and family gather by the piano for singing, or warm themselves by the fire in winter, or sit by the gurgling fishpond on the deck on summer evenings. Although the home is just blocks from Wisconsin Avenue, the only sound that penetrates this quiet neighborhood is the occasional beautiful ringing of the National Cathedral's bells.

From the outside, the home retains its charming Tudor style, with a stucco exterior, a steeply pitched roof and the familiar cross-thatching of wood beams on the upper level.

Inside, the original architecture features graceful archways leading into each room on both the main and upper levels. The original hardwood flooring has been refinished to a bright shine.

The home was designed to be long and narrow to fit on its corner lot, which means that most rooms cover the entire home from front-to-back. For instance, the master suite and the living room each have windows on both the front and the back of the house, allowing for sunlight no matter what time of day.

The owners made several changes to increase the livability of their home and to brighten it. They added recessed lighting to all the rooms and expanded the front door to include a vestibule area, a guest closet, and a glass block wall that allows daylight to filter in without compromising the privacy of the owners. All the windows of the house were originally metal and occasionally leaked, so the owners replaced them with Andersen windows.

In the living room, the owners added long walls of built-in bookshelves and cabinets for storage. In addition, they changed the fireplace exterior from a dark wood mantel to a smooth stucco wall, which emphasizes the arched opening over the fireplace.

The owners were amused by the original design of the angled staircase, which had a second twist so that the children could go directly from their rooms into the kitchen area without being seen by guests in the living room. As one of the owners observed, "Perhaps this goes back to the days when children should be neither seen nor heard." That portion of the staircase has now been converted to a china closet off the dining room.

The owners also enclosed a two-level porch so as to expand their kitchen and an upper level bedroom. When they accomplished this project they added a powder room and a desk in a charming nook next to the kitchen.

The renovated kitchen has several windows and a sliding glass door to the deck, where friends and family can relax in pleasant weather. The owners added a slate floor, a large breakfast bar, extensive oak cabinets with slatted doors, and plenty of open shelving for their vast collection of cookbooks. Metal and wood grids on the wall add more storage space for small kitchen items. There's also room for casual dining in the expanded kitchen.

Nearby is the formal dining room, which has crown moldings, an extra-deep bay window, and an arched opening to an alcove perfect for a buffet serving area when entertaining a large group.

A large arch leads to the front hallway, where another arch opens onto the formal living room. At the opposite end of the living room is a wide arch to the sunroom, which features a large bay window. The owners use this space as their music room, with a grand piano as its focal point.

Upstairs, the master bedroom includes multiple windows and two closets, along with plush wall-to-wall carpet and a private full bath. The second bedroom functions currently as a guest room and artist's studio and includes built-in shelving, a mirrored closet and recessed lighting. An updated hall bath with a combination tub and shower is nearby.

An expansive third bedroom currently used as a study has been expanded over the original porch and includes a bay window area with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows at one end in addition to a huge picture window at the front of the house and several other windows. An accordion-style room separator can be used to divide this space into a bedroom and sitting area or study, or a permanent change could divide this large space into two smaller bedrooms.

Ample storage space is available in the detached two-car garage, an attic space accessible by pull-down stairs, and in the unfinished basement. A laundry room and workbench are also in the basement.

Residents can walk to the National Cathedral grounds, north on Wisconsin to shops and restaurants, or south on Wisconsin to the pleasures of Georgetown.


Address:2800 Bellevue Terrace NW, Washington, D.C. 20007-1366

Community: Observatory Circle

Age: Built in 1927, extensively renovated

Price: $625,000

Size: 4,375 square foot home site

Taxes: $3,878 in 2001

Exterior features: Tudor-style stucco home on corner lot with multiple windows of different shapes and sizes; detached two-car garage.

Interior features: Three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, vestibule entrance with glass block window, arched entrances to most rooms, living room with fireplace, bay-windowed sunroom, formal dining room with bay window, updated kitchen with pantry and space for casual dining, several closets, study attached to third bedroom, pull-down attic stairs, unfinished lower level with laundry room, storage room and utility area with a workbench.

Amenities: Side deck off kitchen with adjacent fish pond, gas heat, central air conditioning, new roof.

Close by: Walking distance to Wisconsin Avenue near National Cathedral, close to Georgetown, easy drive to downtown Washington

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtors Linda Chaletzky and Bonnie Lewin of Evers & Co. Real Estate at 202/364-1700

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