- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The inviting small-town atmosphere of Takoma Park offers plenty of tree-shaded neighborhoods filled with enchanting Victorian homes and vintage Sears bungalows.

Takoma Park began as a late-19th-century railroad stop, and its current residents are active in their quest to preserve the town’s history and keep its neighborly charm.

Local shops and businesses are an important part of Takoma Park, as are the annual House and Garden Tour and Fourth of July parade.

Owners of an 1890s Victorian home on Maple Avenue have managed to carefully renovate the house they’ve resided in for more than three decades while staying true to the home’s original character. The house is listed at $850,000.

The house, with a stucco exterior, has been freshly painted. It is the former manse for the Presbyterian Church that used to be across the street.

A walkway through the colorful landscape leads to a charming front porch, ideal for a couple of rocking chairs and good summer reads. Beyond the front door with beveled glass is a four-bedroom, two-bath home with spacious rooms and high ceilings.

Most of the windows and doorways throughout the house feature the original bull’s-eye molding and custom shutters. The wavy old glass panes in the windows are original to the home.

Beautifully maintained hardwood floors grace the foyer and flow into the rest of the main-level rooms, as well.

The square foyer is a welcoming reception area with antique lighting and room for a small sitting area. To the right of the foyer is a long formal living room that almost appears to be two rooms because of its size. This room has entrances from the foyer as well as the hallway.

Two ceiling fans help the keep the living room cool, and four windows offer outdoor views in different directions. There’s an ample closet in the living room for storing household items. An original feature in the home are pocket doors at the living room entries and in other rooms in the house. These pocket doors hide intact behind the walls, although they can easily be reinstalled.

On the other side of the hall is a dining room that works just as well for formal dinner parties or casual gatherings. The dining room has a china closet and offers easy access into the kitchen.

The dining room and kitchen are both kept cool and brightly lit by ceiling fans with lighting. In fact, there are nine ceiling fans throughout the home.

The kitchen was remodeled around 1990 to incorporate modern amenities. Appliances include a black Whirlpool dishwasher and black double oven.

Custom maple cabinetry — some with glass fronts — gives the kitchen a tailored look, while the tile counters and beamed ceiling add personality. A doorway in the kitchen opens to the back porch and yard.

The upper level has a sizable hall and is accessed by a dual staircase, originating in the foyer and kitchen, that meets a bright landing.

On the way upstairs, you’ll notice the original railing and carved spindles decorating the front hall banister.

Upstairs are four bedrooms, including the master bedroom with its own bath.

All the bedrooms feature hardwood floors, closets and ceiling fans.

Another smaller room on this level can be used as a nursery or den and has a cedar storage closet and separate entrance directly into the master bedroom.

The charming master bath has a claw-foot tub, opaque window panes, tile flooring and partially tiled walls. A floral wallpaper design covers most of the wall.

The second bathroom is set up similarly, with an opaque window, tile floor and partially tiled wall.

There’s another wood staircase in the hallway that leads to a creatively finished third level, which works well as a studio, hobby room or playroom. This private space was also remodeled around 1990 and features a skylight and three windows. Sloped walls serve as unique space dividers, sectioning off the spacious level into smaller areas.

There are cedar storage closets on the landing.

The unfinished basement level offers more possibilities if the new owner wants additional living space. The basement also has seven windows and a walk-out to the back yard.

Outdoor entertaining is a breeze in the private, fenced rear yard that backs to parkland.

A back porch, large enough to fit several chairs, is a relaxing place where you’ll want to linger.

The flat lot — hard to come by in Takoma Park — allows you to enjoy the entire yard. Also in the back yard are mature trees and a garage that doubles as a storage shed.

The home’s location puts it within walking distance of the Takoma Park Metro station.

Address: 7122 Maple Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912

Community: Takoma Park

Age: Built in 1895

Price: $850,000

Size: Lot of .31 acres

Taxes: $7,028 in 2004

Exterior features: Victorian home, stucco exterior, front porch, back porch, fenced yard, driveway, garage

Interior features: Four bedrooms, two baths, finished third level, unfinished walk-out basement, nine ceiling fans, hardwood floors, updated kitchen, tile counters, skylight, recessed lights, custom wood cabinets

Amenities: Full-size washer and dryer, cedar closets

Schools: Takoma Park Elementary; Takoma Park Middle; Blair High

Close by: Takoma Park Metro station, parks, shopping, restaurants

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Lynne Gorsage of Long & Foster Real Estate at 301/215-6848

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