- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 1, 2005

A worn shoe found between the walls during renovations brings history to life for an 1889 Rockville home on Great Falls Road. The owners display the old child’s shoe on the mantel in the library.

Also, neatly framed on the living room wall, along with a swatch of the wallpaper that once decorated the room, is a photo of Mr. and Mrs. John Higgins, prominent in Rockville’s social and commercial circles in the 19th century. In addition to the house at 300 Great Falls Road, the family owned S.D. Higgins & Sons mercantile.

Adjacent to the historic district and million-dollar homes, the Great Falls Road house is on the market for $875,000 and overflows with charm.

Top-flight craftsmanship was used during renovations in order to preserve the home’s original Victorian character. The owners were meticulous about updating the home for today’s standards while staying true to its 19th-century construction.

Within the past four years, the kitchen and bathrooms have been remodeled and all of the major systems have been either updated or replaced. A 30-year roof with copper flashing was completed in 2004.

The double-door entry opens into the foyer, which features a second set of extra-tall interior double doors that are original to the house. These doors lead to a welcoming greeting area with entryways opening to several main-level rooms.

The hardwood flooring goes back in time with the home, as does the floor tile in the foyer area. Ten-foot ceilings accented with newer sophisticated light fixtures complement the home’s personality.

Many of the walls were stripped to the lath, and fresh plaster was applied. The walls on the main level are painted in varying shades of yellows, browns and greens for an updated look.

The dining room is large enough to comfortably host holiday dinners without feeling overcrowded. It has crown molding and a bay window that looks out onto the front yard. Original ceiling medallions in the dining room and foyer draw attention to the light fixtures.

In the center of the home is a living room that is comfortable enough to double as the family room. This tailored, updated room has a casual attitude with a wood-burning fireplace and mantel, ceiling fan and wall sconces. A bay window offers a side view of the yard.

The kitchen is strategically placed in the rear of the home and was renovated in 2001. This attractive, sunny space has a clear connection with the outdoors with two sets of sliding glass doors that meet on an angle and lead to the deck and patio.

The well-appointed kitchen has Mexican tile flooring, black granite counters, recessed lights and maple cabinets — including one with a glass door. A long center island has a built-in wine rack and room for several stools.

Stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen include a 48-inch, six-burner Viking range, a refrigerator with a bottom freezer, and a Jenn-Air dishwasher.

The library is tucked away to the side of the living room. It features two floor-to-ceiling sets of built-in bookcases and a fireplace.

The main level also has a powder room with a pedestal sink.

Mahogany staircases provide access to the second level. There is a front grand staircase as well as a private rear staircase off the kitchen. At the top of the rear staircase is a large storage room that takes up part of the area over the covered deck. This roof could be turned into an upper deck.

Four bedrooms occupy the second level. A bonus third level features two additional bedrooms. All of the second-floor rooms have the original transoms above the doorways and are painted in bright, bubbly designer colors. Two of the bedrooms share a bath. The master suite has its own bathroom with a skylight.

The bedrooms on the third level can be put to other uses. One is set up as a convenient exercise room.

On this level is a full bathroom with skylights, a shower, pedestal sink and cabinets that are built flush into the wall.

The basement is unfinished, but in 2003, the owners changed the dirt floor into 1,400 square feet of useful space by pouring a new concrete floor. The walk-out basement with stone walls is used for laundry and storage with a utility sink and full-sized windows.

The sizable back yard has a deck, brick patio, towering oak and basswood trees, potted flowers and vegetable gardens.

Commuting from this Victorian charmer couldn’t be easier. The bus stop is within 50 yards of the home, and the Rockville Metro station is less than a mile away.

Address: 300 Great Falls Road, Rockville, MD 20850

Community: Rockville

Age: Built in 1889

Price: $875,000

Size: Lot of .48 acres

Taxes: $3,999 in 2005

Homeowners association: None

Exterior features: Historic Victorian home, covered front porch, landscaped yard, deck, brick patio, newly paved driveway

Interior features: Six bedrooms, 31/2 baths, library, granite counters, kitchen island, built-in wine rack, walk-in closet, original hardwood floors throughout, 10-foot ceilings

Amenities: Two fireplaces, new light fixtures, new water heater and furnace boiler, ceiling fans, built-ins, storage room

Schools: Beall Elementary, West Middle, Richard Montgomery High

Close by: Rockville Town Center, recreation, library, shopping, restaurants

Open house: By appointment only

Contact: Dotty Abt, W.C. & A.N. Miller Real Estate, 301/980-4909.

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