- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Tucked on a quiet street behind the Washington Hilton in Kalorama, the row house at 1864 California St. NW offers a tasteful blend of Victorian style and 21st-century glamour.

One block away is the fun of Adams Morgan, one of Washington’s liveliest neighborhoods, where coffee shops and bookstores beckon day and night, side by side with ethnic restaurants and nightclubs for every taste.

A few short blocks in the other direction are the shops, restaurants and movie theaters along Connecticut Avenue, along with bus stops and Metro stops.

One of the charms of California Street is the height of this part of the city, where from the top levels of town homes, residents enjoy glimpses of the city stretched out below. Leafy trees shade the streets in summer and add an old-fashioned charm to one of the most up-to-date areas of town. The house is now available for $949,000.

The owner-agent for this Kalorama home renovated it to accent the Victorian style while upgrading the home for modern comforts with two-zone air conditioning, satellite television and a stereo system for the master bedroom and living room.

At the back of the main level, the kitchen has been modernized with sleek maple cabinets, granite counters and upgraded stainless-steel appliances. An old-fashioned twisting back staircase leads from the back of the kitchen to the second level, while outside is a charming, wisteria-draped sunny deck large enough to accommodate a gas grill.

The front of this all-brick home has deep bay windows on three levels, and guests are welcomed past a tiny vestibule with wainscoting and tile flooring into an elegant foyer with original moldings, hardwood flooring and a gracious staircase. The formal front parlor/living room includes a fireplace with the original mantel, a deep bay window and pocket doors leading to the foyer.

One of the more dramatic rooms of this home is the formal dining room, a grand room with an original mantel and built-in china cabinet, a coffered ceiling, an elegant chandelier and wainscoting on the walls. The main level has original hardwood flooring in all rooms but the kitchen and the full bath adjacent to the kitchen.

The extra depth of this home adds space to what at first glance appears to be a small home. Outdoor living is accommodated on the deck off the kitchen, along with a spacious flagstone patio with garden beds and room for dining and relaxing.

The second level includes a spacious rear bedroom with its own private wooden balcony, draped in wisteria like the deck below.

This level includes another bedroom and a full bath, plus a small bedroom with a closet, which also can function as a small office or study. This room has a glass door leading to a narrow outdoor ledge — future owners can choose to add a prefabricated spiral staircase to the roof for the creation of a roof deck.

At the front of this second level, a large room with a deep bay window and a closet has been designed as a den or home office. The room has built-in bookcases and wiring for satellite television and a stereo system that also connects to the master suite above and the living room below.

The upper level, entirely devoted to the romantic master suite, has a tall window at the end of the hall facing south and filling this level with light. A transom window over the bedroom door allows light from this window to filter into the bedroom.

The bedroom features a fireplace with a mantel, built-in bookcases and cabinets and multiple closets, plus the distinctive deep bay window also found on the lower levels. The marble master bath features a picture window at the back framing a view of the Washington Monument, with a two-person whirlpool tub below. This bathroom also has a glass-enclosed oversized shower and a large closet for storage.

The washer and dryer are stacked in a closet adjacent to the master suite.

The entire lower level of this home can function as a spacious in-law suite or be rented. (The current rent is set at $1,700 per month.) This apartment has a private front entrance and a private rear entrance to the flagstone patio. At the front of the unit is a large bedroom, while the second bedroom is at the back of the home. In between are a large living room with a paneled wall, an open dining area and fully equipped kitchen with a stacked washer and dryer and a full bath.

The owner has added ceiling fans and recessed lighting to many of the rooms, while keeping old-fashioned charms such as pocket doors, moldings and decorative mantels. This blend of Victorian and 21st-century features provides the perfect setting for any decorating style.

More info:

Address: 1864 California St. NW, Washington, DC 20009

Community: Kalorama

Age: Built 1909

Price: $949,000

Size: Lot of 1,734 square feet

Taxes: $5,850 in 2003

Exterior features: Victorian-style row house with four sides brick, deep bay windows on three levels at the front of the house, one rental parking space paid through 2004

Interior features: Six bedrooms; four full baths; hardwood flooring; foyer; front parlor with fireplace; dining room; kitchen; full bath on main level; rear staircase to upper level; second-level den or home office with floor-to-ceiling bookcases and cabinets; two bedrooms and full bath on second level, plus small room for flexible use; upper-level master suite with transom window over door, fireplace in bedroom, multiple closets and bath with two-person Jacuzzi with view of Washington Monument; lower-level rental unit with two additional bedrooms, one full bath, living and dining area with full kitchen

Amenities: Two working fireplaces; two south-facing, wisteria-covered decks; large fenced flagstone patio in rear yard; potential for roof deck; two-zone air conditioning; natural-gas hot-water-radiator heat; master bedroom, den and living room wired for satellite TV and stereo

Close by: Walking distance to Adams Morgan and to Connecticut Avenue shops and restaurants, easy access to downtown

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Owner and Realtor Richard Oder of Long & Foster Real Estate, 202/329-6900

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