- The Washington Times - Friday, September 27, 2002

Imagine a community within minutes of downtown Washington where your children can spend summers playing in the sand and swimming under the supervision of lifeguards, learning to sail and canoeing to a friend's house.

Sound impossible? So close to the District, hours from the beach, the delightful neighborhood of Lake Barcroft in Falls Church provides the setting for this "best of all possible worlds" lifestyle.

Lake Barcroft came into being in 1915 when the Alexandria Water Co. built a dam and established a reservoir to store water from the branches of Holmes Run. In the late 1940s, the reservoir became too small to serve Alexandria and in 1950 the reservoir and the surrounding land were put up for sale.

A partnership of developers from Boston bought the 135-acre lake, which has more than five miles of shoreline, and began building homes. Today, the nonprofit Barcroft Lake Management Association maintains and controls the lake.

The Lake Barcroft community of about 1,000 homes enjoys five beaches, and many of the homeowners spend time canoeing, sailing or floating on the lake on a party barge. The quiet of the lake is never broken by motor boats or Jet Skis, as they are prohibited. Years ago, the lake froze solid in the winter and residents could enjoy ice skating, but it hasn't frozen sufficiently in recent years.

One home on the market for $900,000 in Lake Barcroft, at 6364 Lakeview Drive, was built in 1955 and has been home for the owner and her family for 42 years. The split-level design has five levels of living space, each with a lake view or lake access.

The lake views were not the focal point for the home when first designed. The owner had the architects make changes, moving doors and windows, adding picture windows, and most importantly, adding a large screened porch and a family room with a wall of windows framing the lake.

While the back of the home enjoys views of the quiet cove of Lake Barcroft and the home's private dock, the front of the home has its own claim to fame. A magnificent Japanese maple tree towers over the home, offering beauty and shade from the center of the lawn in the middle of the circular driveway.

Inside, this home features hardwood floors on every level. The entrance foyer offers a glimpse of the lake beyond the screened porch. The formal living room at the front of the house features a set of French doors that allow light into the room while creating a cozy space. This room also has a fireplace with a wood mantel, glass doors and a picture window that frames a view of the Japanese maple.

Just down the hall is an arched entrance into a dining room that has been the setting for many happy family meals and friendly gatherings. To one side is a glass door leading to a staircase to the back yard and deck, while a full wall of sliding glass doors opens onto the large screened porch where the family spent as much time as possible. Adjacent to the dining room is the updated kitchen, which has a new floor and a pass-through that also serves as a window to view the lake.

The paneled family room on the other side of the kitchen also has a sliding glass door to the screened porch.

The second level of the home includes two large bedrooms with hardwood flooring. The front bedroom includes an arched niche with built-in shelving, a closet and two large windows, while the rear bedroom includes two closets and two large windows. A full bath with a combination shower and tub completes this level.

A handful of hardwood stairs leads to the third level, which also has a door to the attic. The fully floored attic has a high sloping ceiling and a window, as well as hardwood steps, so it could be converted to living space if desired. The third-level master suite includes a large bedroom with two closets, a private full bath, and a sliding glass door to a porch overlooking the lake. An additional bedroom space beyond the main bedroom has a sloping ceiling and two more closets, and could function as a sitting room or a nursery.

Downstairs, one above-ground lower level includes a recreation room with a sliding glass door to the back yard, which also has a deck with a built-in bench. The recreation room has a beamed ceiling, a ceiling fan and built-in bookshelves along one wall.

Next to the recreation room is a large bedroom with paneled walls, several high windows and a closet.

The second lower level, still partially above-ground, features a large bedroom with a ceiling fan and windows facing the lake, a full bath, walls of closets along the hall, and a large den with additional closet space. A door from the den leads to the basement where the huge workshop or storage room also has an outside door.

When the owner's children were small, an outside shower was placed next to the workshop so they could clean up easily after a day on the lake.

This charming lakeside retreat would appeal to a large family, with a total of five bedrooms and several spaces for recreation indoors and out. Members of a smaller family could also enjoy adding their stamp to the home and sharing their relaxed lifestyle with friends.

Details

Address: 6364 Lakeview Drive, Falls Church, VA 22041-1334

Community: Lake Barcroft

Age: Built 1955

Price: $900,000

Size: About 3,000 finished square feet on site of .27 acres

Taxes: $9,288 in 2001

Exterior features: Split-level-style brick and siding; circular driveway and one-car carport; Japanese maple tree shades front yard; side yard available for garden.

Interior features: Five levels of living space with five bedrooms, three full baths, formal living room with fireplace, dining room overlooking lake, updated kitchen with new floor, family room with wall of windows and access to screened porch, two upper levels of bedrooms including master suite with additional bedroom or sitting room space, attic with finished floor and window, two lower levels with two more bedrooms, a recreation room with a sliding glass door to the deck, a full bath and a den, workshop/storage room with outside access.

Amenities: View of Lake Barcroft, screened porch, deck, porch off master bedroom, dock with canoe and sailboat.

Close by: Five beaches of Lake Barcroft community, shopping in Bailey's Crossroads and Seven Corners, minutes to downtown Washington.

Schools: Belvedere Elementary, Glasgow Middle, Stuart High

Open house: Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 to 5 p.m.

Contact: Realtor Dorothy Latham, ERA Citation Homes Inc., at 703/534-5800


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