- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 28, 2004

What do Marilyn Monroe, former Georgetown University basketball coach John Thompson and Sir Edwin L. Lutyens have in common? They each have a connection with the Elizabethan-style home now on the market for $2,250,000 at 4881 Colorado Ave. NW in the Crestwood neighborhood of Washington.

Built in 1925, this stone manor home is a rare local example of the Elizabethan style of architecture. This property is evocative of the work of architect Lutyens, who borrowed from the English country-house traditions of the 17th century and the earliest periods of English classicism. Lutyens worked primarily in England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The home once belonged to Georgetown University and used to be the residence of Mr. Thompson and his family.

Although Marilyn Monroe never visited this home in real life, her presence is felt at every outdoor party here because her likeness has been re-created in dramatic fashion on the floor of the swimming pool in the back yard.

Local artist John Bailey, who painted the well-known Marilyn Monroe mural on a building near Connecticut Avenue and Calvert Street Northwest, was commissioned to produce this whimsical portrait for the entertainment of the owners and their guests.

While entertaining comfortably is a breeze in this home, residents can also enjoy concerts, tennis matches and summer theater at Carter Barron Amphitheatre across Colorado Avenue in Rock Creek Park.

Crestwood, a residential area with a charming mix of Tudor, Federal and Georgian-revival estates, is the location of the former home of Washington developer Harry Wardman and several embassies.

This home could easily function as a diplomatic center as well, as it includes large rooms for entertaining, along with bedrooms that could function as offices on several levels.

A flagstone walkway leads to the front flagstone patio, which is almost enclosed by a low stone wall. A set of solid wood doors, which can be left permanently open or closed for more privacy, opens onto a set of glass-paned double doors. These doors, in turn, open into the foyer and offer a glimpse straight through the home to the family room.

Most of the main level features the original hardwood flooring and the original French doors, which link the rooms, allowing for a free-flowing floor plan when they are all left open.

To the left of the foyer is the traditional English country home morning room, a gracious space with a large stone fireplace and several mullioned windows, meant to be used as the place for morning tea and correspondence. Deep stone walls of 12-inch thickness create a quiet atmosphere in the home.

Across the foyer is the library, which has a stone fireplace in one corner and mullioned windows on either side of the room overlooking the front lawn and the rear patio and swimming pool. Just beyond the library is a small vestibule with a side door into the garden and a large powder room for guests.

The back yard includes flagstone terraces for relaxing and dining outside, garden beds and the swimming pool. Here also is the corner whirlpool tub. Next to the pool are an outdoor shower and a kitchen pavilion.

A two-story guesthouse completes the mini estate and can function as an in-law or au pair suite or as space for the occasional overnight guest. On the first level are an open living area with a fireplace on a brick hearth, a full bath and an open kitchen with a brick floor. A spiral staircase leads to the loft sleeping area.

Inside the main house, guests can be entertained with ease in the dramatic family room, which was created by enclosing the former stone porch. Stone pillars and exposed low stone walls are now combined with walls of glass, including angled windows and skylights overhead.

French doors lead from the family room to the back yard, and two more sets of original French doors link this room with the formal dining room, a spacious room with hardwood flooring.

The adjacent kitchen has been modernized with a view to blending naturally with the historic sections of the home and includes upgraded stainless-steel Jenn-Air appliances, granite counters and oversized rectangular ceramic tiles for the floor, which blend with maple cabinets for a serene look.

Wood stairs lead from near the front door to the upper levels of the home, with multiple landings allowing for windows to overlook the back yard. The first bedroom includes a wall of windows framing the backyard view, one stone wall, two closets, and a private full bath with an open tile shower and a contemporary vanity and sink.

The owners lived in Europe before moving to Washington and incorporated some sophisticated and sleek European style into the kitchen and bath renovations.

On the opposite side of the main staircase, the second level includes two front bedrooms with wood floors, two closets and mullioned windows. These front bedrooms are currently in use as office space and could function for almost any use. They share a full hall bath with a sleek stainless-steel sink. Nearby are a full-size stacked washer and dryer.

The master suite on this level includes a large bedroom; a walk-in closet with built-in shelving; and a dressing room with built-in dressers and shelves and windows on two sides, which could easily function as a cozy sitting room. The master bath features oversize ceramic-tile flooring, a large open shower and a tub.

The main stairs also wind to the third finished level, which includes a large storage closet off the hall. The fourth bedroom on this level includes a full bath. Nearby is the dramatically large open studio, which has a peaked ceiling and mullioned windows on three sides, plus hardwood flooring. This studio space can function as a dance or exercise studio, an artist’s studio, a home office or a playroom.

Future owners could reconfigure the upper level into a private master suite, with the studio space as the bedroom and the fourth bedroom functioning as a dressing room and bath.

The cellar provides additional storage and is accessed through a small room with windows overlooking the garden and a sink for using the room as a potting shed.

Whether entertaining lavishly or simply enjoying the comforts of an in-town English country estate, future residents will certainly appreciate the serene blend of antique and contemporary taste found in the design of this home.

Address: 4881 Colorado Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20011

Community: Crestwood

Age: 79 years

Price: $2,250,000

Size: lot of 10,454 square feet

Taxes: $8,970

Exterior features: Stone manor with flagstone walkway leading to flagstone front porch, flagstone drive to detached two-car garage, fenced garden with flagstone terraces

Interior features: Five bedrooms; four full baths; one powder room; hardwood flooring; many original doors and windows; morning room; library; formal dining room; upgraded renovated kitchen; family room with stone and glass walls; wood stairs; four bedrooms and three full baths on second level; third level with additional bedroom, bath and studio; cellar for storage

Amenities: Swimming pool with whirlpool tub and outside kitchen; two-story guesthouse with fireplace, full kitchen, living area and sleeping loft; two fireplaces; skylights; master bath with tub and separate shower; gas heat and hot water

Close by: Across from Carter Barron Amphitheatre and Rock Creek Park, minutes to downtown Washington or the Beltway

Open house: By appointment only

Contact: Realtor John T. Mahshie of Tutt, Taylor and Rankin at 202/271-3132.

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