- The Washington Times - Friday, June 7, 2002

In the 1890s, before air conditioning, a Victorian-style home was built at the top of a hill in Berkley, a Northwest Washington neighborhood just north of MacArthur Boulevard. This home, at 2227 49th St. at the top of Ashby Street, is a four-level farmhouse-style property placed high on a lot overlooking the treetops.

Placing the home to catch the breezes from the Potomac River, the architect also surrounded the home on the main and upper level with wraparound porches used for sleeping on hot summer nights.

Now on the market for the first time in 20 years and priced at $2.5 million, this unique home was renovated and expanded in the 1980s. The owners added a large heated swimming pool in the back yard, a kitchen addition to suit modern tastes, and a finished third level with sun-filled loft spaces and bedrooms.

This home is within walking distance of MacArthur Boulevard's shops and restaurants. It also offers a country-style quiet ambience. Residents are within 10 minutes of Georgetown, yet can enjoy walking or biking in bucolic settings such as Battery Kemble Park, Glover Archibald Park, the C&O Canal and the Potomac River.

This Victorian home offers historic authenticity and warm places for entertaining in a beautifully landscaped retreat. The nearly half-acre site actually includes three buildable lots, including the side lot, which consists of garden space and the driveway; the center lot, which holds the house; and the second side lot, which is partially filled by the swimming pool.

The home can be approached from the steep private driveway or from 49th Street up a series of quarry-stone steps past walled garden beds. A stone patio at the back of the house is lined with additional garden areas and leads to the lawn where the heated pool has been installed. An electric cover over the pool makes it easier to maintain.

The rear lawn also features a lily pond and an old windmill draped in flowering vines.

The lovely surroundings of this home are visible and accessible from every room through French doors and glass doors. Most rooms have tall two-over-two windows, meaning that there are only two huge windowpanes on the top and bottom of each window. On the finished third level there are skylights that also bring daylight into the rooms. All the doors and windows can be opened to fill the home with fresh air and a pleasant spring or summer feeling.

Throughout the home are hardwood floors, transom windows, elaborately detailed moldings and trim, high ceilings and decorative paint with faux finishes. The main level features three working fireplaces and both front and rear staircases.

For an easy flow when entertaining, the main level has a double-size living room with a fireplace, and a receiving parlor or smaller living room off the foyer. The receiving parlor also has a fireplace. The large formal dining room also has a fireplace.

This home was once divided into two separate residences, so each half is the mirror image of the other. Two sets of French doors open onto the central foyer that now links the two homes. A powder room is conveniently located off the foyer.

The kitchen addition to the main level has windows on three sides that make the room feel as if it is part of nature. Casual gatherings would be comfortably handled in this large room, which has white cabinets and counters, recessed lighting, heart-of-pine flooring, and a glass-enclosed mini-greenhouse. Appliances include a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a six-burner gas range, a dishwasher, a microwave-convection oven, and an extra-deep double-bowl stainless steel sink. The kitchen includes a breakfast nook, a window seat and corner benches with storage space, built-in closets and a corner cupboard, and an extra-large walk-in pantry with wainscoting. Adjacent to the kitchen is a convenient laundry room with 42-inch cabinets and shelving.

The second level features an expansive master bedroom with panoramic views from the windows and wrap-around balcony. The master bedroom has a separate dressing area and a private bath. The mirror image of this master bedroom could be used as a second master bedroom or as a second-story family room for relaxing.

Four more bedrooms on this level share a full bath, and each has a large walk-in closet and a glass door to the wrap-around balcony. All the rooms have hardwood flooring and built-in bookshelves and cubbyholes.

The owners chose to finish the third-level attic space to take advantage of the sky-high panoramic views afforded by this home's hilltop location. Arched dormer windows and skylights take advantage of the spectacular views while filling the rooms with light. Large loft spaces can be used in any manner, as a home office, computer room, playroom, artist studio or casual entertaining room. This level also has three bedrooms and a third full bath.

The lower level is a true cellar with steps to the back yard. Additional storage is available on the third floor under the eaves. Amenities of this home include gas heat, central air conditioning and gas hot water.

While the expansive spaces inside the home make it a comfortable place for living all year, this home seems particularly appealing in the summertime, when days and evenings could be spent comfortably by the pool or on one of the many wraparound porches.

Details

Address: 2227 49th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

Community: Berkley

Age: Built in 1892

Price: $2.5 million

Size: About 6,000 to 7,000 finished square feet on nearly half an acre

Taxes: $6,389 in 2002

Exterior features: Victorian-style clapboard home on hill in private location with quarry-stone steps and walled gardens, professionally landscaped with mature plantings, long adjacent driveway for off-street parking, fully fenced level back yard, three buildable lots included in property.

Interior features: Seven bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, four finished levels, restored wood floors, period architecture and wood trim, high ceilings, 1980s kitchen addition with white-on-white cabinets and counters, double formal living room, formal dining room, receiving parlor, expansive master suite with panoramic views; second-floor family room, four bedrooms with glass doors to balcony porches, built-in bookcases, two full baths; finished upper level with loft spaces, wood floors, three bedrooms, one full bath, dormer windows, skylights and under-eave storage.

Amenities: Double wrap-around porches, tall two-over-two windows and French doors so every room can access the outside, heated rectangular swimming pool with electric cover, three fireplaces.

Close by: Walking distance to MacArthur Boulevard shops and restaurants; minutes to Georgetown and downtown, close to Battery Kemble Park, Glover Archibald Park, the C&O; Canal and the Potomac River.

Schools: Key Elementary, Deal Middle, Wilson High

Open house: Sunday, June 9, 2 to 5 p.m.

Contact: Robin Waugh, Weichert Realtors, at 703/917-0515


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