- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 12, 2003

In the heart of Rockville, where charming century-old homes give each street a stately atmosphere, an 1890 Colonial now on the market comes with a fully equipped guesthouse in the back yard.

Rockville, so named in 1801 because of its proximity to Rock Creek, is one of Maryland’s oldest towns and has become a melting pot, of sorts. This home is in the West Montgomery District, an entire community listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Towering trees and well-planned landscaping on 401 W. Montgomery Ave. surround the five-bedroom, 3-bath home, offered at $950,000. The side-entrance driveway leads to parking that can accommodate 10 cars, including a two-car garage, carport and parking pad.

Two sets of stairs in the front of the 3,500-square-foot home meet in the middle at the white double-door entrance. Once inside, guests are immediately drawn into a long and wide foyer hall, boasting a stained-glass window and the home’s original light fixture.

This center-hall floor plan places the living room and dining room on opposite sides of the foyer.

The home was restored in 1958, and the back porch was turned into a multifunction great room.

A mixture of new and old throughout the house combines features such as the original red pine floors with Corian counters and the original wood windows with newer outer storm windows.

In the renovation, the owners stayed true to the home’s original character and preserved many period details, including the lofty 11-foot ceilings throughout the first and second levels, as well as the detailed moldings and trim around the doorways and windows.

The massive living room is large enough to have two separate entrance doors in the hall foyer. In fact, the living room’s back wall was the original home’s back wall. A mirror now fills the space of a former exterior window.

The formal dining room has wall sconces and a floral wallpaper design that complements the foyer walls.

This room can comfortably fit a large table with many holiday dinner guests. Both rooms offer 6-foot windows and decorative crown molding.

In the back is the newer section of the house, consisting of an enormous great room with a separate space to use as a breakfast room. This great room extends the width of the house and incorporates portions of the original exterior to give it a historic look that blends in with the rest of the home.

A wall-length bow window lets in lots of light and makes for an ideal spot to sit and enjoy the scenery in the back yard. White built-in bookshelves in the room offer a handy place to store books or showcase decorative collections.

A step up in the middle of the great room divides the large space and goes into the breakfast area, with its wood-paneled walls.

The focal point of this area is a large brick fireplace that appears to be the family’s central gathering place. A stained-glass window elegantly separates the breakfast room from the hallway. There is also a full bath in the back of the home with a Corian vanity.

An accordion-style Pella glass room divider separates the breakfast room from the kitchen and allows it to be closed off for privacy.

The kitchen has a walk-in pantry. Corian counters and black appliances add a touch of modern style; paneled walls help keep it in tune with the rest of the home.

A large double-bowl sink, double oven and new refrigerator are some of the appliances included with the kitchen. Ceiling fans with touch-pad controls help the great room and kitchen stay cool.

Memories of the original home are renewed in the kitchen with unique hand-painted before-and-after images of the house on the ceramic-tile backsplash. Architectural drawings of the original house hang on the wall going toward the second floor.

On two floors above the main level are a total of five bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The second floor is home to three rooms. Stairs to a third floor lead to two additional bedrooms.

The master-bedroom suite has carpeted floors and sports four large windows. His-and-hers walk-in closets flank the bathroom entrance. A separate closet is just for shoes.

The master bath has ceramic-tile floors, a marble vanity, a deep tub and a linen closet. Down the hall is the second bedroom with a floral design scheme and window shutters, while the third bedroom has mahogany-colored walls.

For a breath of fresh air without having to go downstairs, one of the two bedrooms has a walk-out roof deck that overlooks the back yard. A second laundry room with a cedar closet completes this level.

Another set of stairs in the hall heads up to two bedrooms, one with a cedar closet, and plenty of storage.

This home sits on a lot of almost half an acre and has a rear fence bordered by lush gardens. A door in the great room leads outside to the brick patio, which features a green- and white-striped awning. There is even a platform and hookup already in place for a hot tub.

The yard is inviting, with its koi pond, landscaping and ample room for outdoor entertaining.

Visitors who stay overnight can enjoy privacy in the guest quarters in the back yard. This self-contained guesthouse includes a kitchenette and bathroom.

More info:

Address: 401 W. Montgomery Ave., Rockville, MD 20850

Community: West End Park

Age: Built in 1890

Price: $950,000

Size: 3,540 square feet on 0.49-acre lot

Taxes: $6,997

Exterior features: Wood and copper Colonial, rear fence, brick patio and walkway, roof deck, covered side porch, landscaping, guest house, koi pond, platform and hookup for hot tub

Interior features: Five bedrooms, 3 baths, 11-foot ceilings on first and second levels, original red pine floors throughout, kitchenette and full bath in guesthouse, first- and second-floor laundry rooms, crown and chair-rail moldings in dining room, bow window, Corian counters, walk-in pantry, new refrigerator, dual thermal and convection ovens, marble vanities

Amenities: Living room marble fireplace and brick-walled fireplace in great room, ceiling fans with touch pads, built-in bookshelves, stained-glass windows, Pella glass room divider, two cedar closets

Schools: Beall Elementary, Julius West Middle, Richard Montgomery High

Close by: Montgomery County Historical Society, Cabin John Regional Park, Weiner Judaic Museum, bike paths, shopping, restaurants

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Tim Nicholson at Long & Foster Real Estate, 301/922-2347

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