- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hidden behind tightly secured gates on the corner of Old Dominion Drive and Bellview Road in McLean, a turreted, elegant mansion that was once a National Symphony Show House is now on the market for $5,490,000.

Some 13 years ago, the 16,000-square-foot mansion was filled with an eclectic mix of interior decorating styles by various designers brought in to attract visitors and raise money for the National Symphony. Today, this expansive estate home, which rests on more than 2 acres, offers a seamless array of rooms for entertaining lavishly and comfortably raising a large family.

The grounds at 8531 Old Dominion Drive are gated and protected by an extensive security system with surveillance cameras. Manicured lawns and paving stone patios ring the home, along with professionally planted trees, shrubs and flower beds.

A six-car garage is supplemented by parking areas along the drive.

A swimming pool provides a focal point for the back yard, which also includes two decks, patios, lawns and a fully equipped playground.

Carved wood double front doors with a Palladian window above open onto the foyer, which has a soaring ceiling, marble flooring and two curving staircases leading to the upper level.

Double doors that have been carved to match the front door lead into the study, covered from floor to ceiling with cherry wood walls, a built-in desk and shelving.

One panel opens to reveal a walk-in safe; others include entertainment systems and a built-in humidor. A fireplace warms the room.

Across the foyer is the formal living room. It is a graceful room with curving walls, a tall Palladian window, an arched doorway, a fireplace and a 24-foot-high ceiling. In the living room and throughout the home, custom draperies and blinds will convey, along with the light fixtures, ceiling fans and some custom furniture.

At the back of the house, the salon features 24-foot ceilings, a deep bay window and a custom sofa that fits into the curving space. Nearby is an elevator that reaches all three levels.

Adjacent to the salon is the banquet-size dining room, which has a Brazilian cherry wood floor, Palladian windows, a marble fireplace with an elaborate mantel and mirror, and high ceilings with custom-designed lighting. Two tables were custom-designed to fit the room, each seating about 20 guests.

A gallery links these formal spaces to the family areas, which include a great room that is 51 feet long and 25 feet wide. This expansive space includes a wet bar, multiple windows, glass doors to a deck, a fireplace and an elaborate built-in entertainment center with multiple television screens.

The entire home is wired for sound and includes an international satellite system so programs can be watched from around the world.

Just outside the great room are his-and-hers powder rooms, each with glass-covered walls. A two-story library is nearby, with a marble fireplace, 24-foot ceilings, a transom over the door, cherry walls and shelves, and a ceiling fan of palm leaves, which gently swivel from side-to-side.

One wing of the home, which originally was configured with a morning room off the kitchen, now functions as office space for the staff and security and includes two kitchens designed for professional chefs. This wing can be easily opened again into a breakfast area with walls of windows.

The kitchens include professional-grade appliances, multiple windows, several freezers and a walk-in pantry. There are three offices, a utility closet, two powder rooms and a staircase in this wing.

Upstairs, the master suite occupies a private wing with a large bedroom including custom suede walls, a fireplace, a sitting area with a bay window, built-in cabinets and shelves, and a wet bar.

The marble bath includes a blue glass shower, blue glass counters with glass bowls and a corner whirlpool tub bordered by windows.

The master wing includes extensive closet space, with four walk-in closets and a dressing room. One walk-in closet is a cedar closet. Another closet is a room-size space with three skylights.

Each closet includes walls of custom built-in drawers and shelves.

The family wing of the home has walls of built-in shelves and cabinets and an open playroom with skylights and a built-in table and benches in one corner. A full kitchen with a pantry is next to the playroom so family meals can be made upstairs.

Three bedrooms are in this wing, with the middle bedroom designed for a nanny and linked by doors to the rooms on either side. Each bedroom has a walk-in closet, built-in shelves and desks and a private full bath. The middle room has a private balcony. One of the baths has been designed as a “princess room,” with walls of windows, a high ceiling and a claw-foot tub in the center of the room.

The lower level has been completely finished with rooms for entertaining guests and enjoying family time, and with bonus rooms and dens that were used for the staff but function for almost any use.

In one corner of the lower level is a recreation room with a fireplace and a bay window, with glass doors leading to the patio and two full baths, each with a steam shower. This room is currently decorated as a fairy-tale-style playroom for the children and includes a puppet theater, but it can easily function as a more sophisticated bathhouse for the swimming pool.

Nearby are a game room with a bay window and an entrance into the home theater, which includes soundproof walls, built-in reclining seats and a projection screen.

The fifth bedroom suite is on the lower level and includes a sitting room, a laundry room, a private bath and a large bedroom with a bay window facing the swimming pool.

A second laundry room holds two washers and two dryers.

In addition, there are eight storage and utility rooms on the lower level, along with two full baths, a powder room, a den and two bonus rooms.

Address: 8531 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, VA 22102

Community: McLean

Age: Built in 1990

Price: $5,490,000

Size: 16,000 square feet on lot of 2.11 acres

Taxes: $39,650 in 2005

Homeowner association fee: None

Exterior features: Brick home with porte-cochere entrance, arched windows with stone trim; manicured gardens and lawns; paving stone drive with additional parking; paving stone patio and pool deck; two decks; playground; six-car garage.

Interior features: Five bedrooms; nine full baths; five powder rooms; grand foyer with marble flooring, two curving staircases; volume ceilings; two-story library with cherry bookcases; study with hidden walk-in safe; salon; living room; great room; large dining room; three additional staircases; two commercial-grade kitchens; three offices for staff; master suite with sitting area, luxury bath, four walk-in closets and dressing room; three upper-level bedrooms with private baths and walk-in closets; upstairs family kitchen; upper-level playroom; lower level with recreation room, home theater, game room, bedroom suite, bonus rooms, den, laundry room and storage rooms.

Amenities: Swimming pool; elevator; seven fireplaces; eight-zone heating and air conditioning; security system including surveillance cameras and gated entrances; whole-house wiring with international satellite system; generator for power backup; separate office building.

Close by: Minutes from downtown Washington and Georgetown, easy access to McLean, Tysons Corner, Great Falls and Reston

Schools: Spring Hill Elementary, Cooper Middle, Langley High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Anne DiBenedetto with McEnearney Associates Realtors in McLean, 703/615-1897.

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