- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 23, 2005

Most homes have one outstanding feature that distinguishes them from their neighbors, but the manor home at 2819 McGill Terrace NW includes multiple distinctive elements.

The owner says the peaceful English garden with its terraces, fountain and brick pavilion is the most attractive element of the home, but others may be more pleased by the elegant Georgian stone facade with its flagstone terraces or by the distinguished formal rooms with their hardwood flooring, crown and chair-rail moldings and wood-burning fireplaces.

Perhaps most surprising are the eight bedrooms, five of which have private baths. In the 1920s, few architects designed homes with bathrooms and bedrooms linked to halls lined with closets and built-in drawers, but the designer of the McGill Terrace home clearly had the prescience to anticipate the tastes of families at the turn of the 21st century.

Now on the market for $3,750,000, the McGill Terrace property stands out, as well, for its location on a quiet one-way street off Calvert Street and 29th Street near the Omni Shoreham Hotel and Rock Creek Park.

Neighboring quiet streets in Massachusetts Avenue Heights include embassies and homes of diplomats, and yet within an easy walk are restaurants and shops, along with the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro station.

The McGill Terrace property has been designed to accommodate a large family or one with a lot of friends, or it can function as an elegant embassy or diplomatic home.

The multiple levels of flagstone terraces enclosed by rock walls lead past garden beds and a fountain to a brick pavilion with imposing stone columns, creating a perfect setting for dining alfresco. The spectacular garden can be maintained for entertaining because it can easily accommodate hundreds of guests at a time, or new owners can seek subdivision of the property through a zoning change.

Flagstone terraces also provide a sophisticated entrance to the front of the home, where double doors open onto a vestibule with a flagstone floor, crown moldings and a transom. The vestibule opens onto a grand foyer with hardwood flooring, a high ceiling with a chandelier, chair-rail moldings and two coat closets.

The owners have carefully maintained and enhanced details of this home, including refinishing all the hardwood floors; replacing the windows with the unusual six-over-nine mullioned windows, which were original to the home; and restoring the woodwork on the banisters of the curving main stair case.

The formal living room, a double-size room with windows overlooking both the front and rear terraces, includes crown moldings and a large fireplace with a marble hearth and surround and an elaborate mantel.

French doors link the living room to a cheerful sunroom with windows on three sides, French doors to the garden and custom-designed built-in shelves. The sunroom is currently in use as an expansive home office.

The library, located on the opposite side of the main stairs, includes high ceilings, crown moldings, built-in bookshelves and cabinet, a storage closet, and a fireplace with a brick hearth and surround and an ornate wood mantel.

Double doors open from the foyer into the formal dining room, a graceful room with a chandelier, crown and chair-rail moldings, a built-in china cabinet, and a wood-burning fireplace with a marble hearth and a surround and a detailed wood mantel.

A swinging door links the dining room with the expanded kitchen, which was redesigned by the owners to include custom cabinetry, track lighting, two dishwashers, a commercial-grade six-burner gas stove and a built-in breakfast table.

Adjacent to the kitchen are a rear staircase to the upper level and a mudroom, which has been converted to a laundry room and has one glass block wall; a marble tile floor; and access to the study, the rear terrace and the staff bedroom suite. This corner bedroom includes windows on two sides, a ceiling fan, a closet and a private marble bath.

The second-level master suite, like each of the other three bedrooms on this level, includes hardwood flooring, crown moldings and a high ceiling. The bedroom has two closets with built-in shelving, and a step-down leads to a hall lined with additional closets and built-in drawers and cabinets. At the end of the hall is a private full bath.

The three additional bedrooms each have a similar arrangement, with a hall lined with custom-built closets and drawers and a private full bath. The second bedroom has a charming bathroom with the tub tucked under an archway, and the fourth bedroom includes a sloping ceiling, a chandelier, and two sets of French doors to a Romeo and Juliet balcony overlooking the garden.

The finished third level, reached by a carpeted staircase, includes three additional bedrooms with wall-to-wall carpeting and a central full bath with a window overlooking the garden. Two of the bedrooms include a dormer window and built-in bookcases, in addition to a closet. The third bedroom, the largest on this level, includes one long wall of built-in bookcases and two smaller walls of bookshelves, two dormer windows overlooking the front and back terraces, and a half-moon window on the side of the home.

The lower level has been completed with a workroom including custom built-in drawers, cabinets and shelves. The lower level also has a powder room, a laundry/utility room and access to the two-car garage.

Whether the interior or the exterior features of this elegant home have more appeal depends on the season, but its solid presence in this distinguished Washington neighborhood is likely to endure into the next century and beyond.

Address: 2819 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20008

Community: Massachusetts Avenue Heights

Age: Built in 1929

Price: $3,750,000

Size: Lot of 16,927 square feet, or 0.39 acres

Taxes: $18,493 in 2004

Exterior features: Distinguished Georgian-style stone manor with stone retaining wall, flagstone terraces with garden beds surrounding stone walkway and front steps; two-car garage with additional space for two cars in driveway; slate roof; quiet one-way street

Interior features: Eight bedrooms; six full baths and two half baths; double-door entry into vestibule, which opens onto foyer; hardwood flooring on all levels; crystal chandeliers in many rooms; crown and chair-rail moldings; large living room with fireplace; French doors into sunroom/home office with windows on three sides; formal dining room with fireplace, china cabinet; library with fireplace, built-in bookshelves and cabinets, storage closet; large kitchen with built-in breakfast table, custom cabinets, rear staircase; mudroom with marble floor, laundry facilities, access to lower level, rear terrace and study; staff suite with bedroom and marble full bath; second level with four bedroom suites, including master suite, each with a full bath, recessed lighting, and a hall with extensive closets and built-in drawers; third level with three bedrooms, each with built-in shelving, and full bath; finished lower level with laundry/utility room, workroom with built-in shelving, drawers and cabinets

Amenities: Extensive flagstone terraces in multiple levels in rear yard with rock wall perimeter, fountain, perennial plantings in garden beds; brick pavilion; gate to 28th Street for rear exit from property; three fireplaces; security system; two-zone central air conditioning

Close by: Walking distance to Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro station; walk to Connecticut Avenue shops and restaurants, National Zoo, hotels, movie theater, Rock Creek Park; easy access to Kennedy Center via Rock Creek Parkway

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor William F.X. Moody of Washington Fine Properties, an affiliate of Sotheby’s International Realty, 202/243-1620.

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