- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Admirers of Victorian-style architecture used to walk along P Street in Northwest Washington bemoaning the state of some of this style’s best representatives: dilapidated, broken into small apartments, and sometimes uninhabitable.

Today the length of P Street between Dupont Circle and Logan Circle includes some of the most expensive and sought-after real estate in the city, as owners and builders have spent the past decade renovating and remodeling the stately homes that line these blocks.

Not only have the homes been improved, but the adjoining streets represent some of the best amenities the city has to offer: small museums, theaters, chic cafes, ethnic restaurants and an eclectic mix of shops. The Metro station at Dupont Circle links residents of this neighborhood to every part of the city and into the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

A prime example of a lovingly restored Victorian home at 1708 P St. NW, is now on the market for $1,525,000. Built around 1900, this four-level brick home has stone front steps and a tiny professionally landscaped front garden.

At the back of the home, a wood deck has steps to the back yard — a fenced and landscaped oasis in the city. A small balcony off one of the upper-level bedrooms adds space to enjoy a cool evening or a pleasant spring morning.

While the brick exterior, steeply pitched roof and box bay windows appeal to passersby, the interior of this home reveals a dedication to detail by the owners. The original hardwood floors, wood banisters, wood stairs and crown and base moldings have all been restored.

Even modernizations, necessary in the kitchen and baths, have been accomplished with a reverence for the Victorian style of the home.

The wood front door opens onto a vestibule entrance with a second door of original glass and wood, creating a buffer on cold days. The main level features a central foyer with one of the home’s six wood-burning fireplaces. Each fireplace includes a restored, unique mantel, often with the original tiles surrounding the fireplace and with detailed woodwork.

Pocket doors have been restored on the main level, connecting the formal dining room with the foyer. Every level of this home includes high ceilings of 9 to 11 feet, adding to the sense of space in the rooms.

The formal dining room, generously proportioned at 26 by 15 feet, includes a box bay window with transoms overlooking P Street. A fireplace is situated in one corner.

At the back of the home is the upgraded kitchen, which includes cherry cabinets, some with glass fronts, granite counters and a granite center island.

Recessed lighting and pendant lighting are both overhead. The kitchen includes a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a Thermador six-burner stainless steel, restaurant-grade stove with a double-oven and hood, and a General Electric Monogram dishwasher.

Just beyond the kitchen is a butler’s pantry with a granite counter and cherry cabinets.

Restored wood stairs lead to the two upper levels, the first of which features a living room at the front of the home. The living room includes a box bay window and an archway leading into a sitting area off the living room with another window. This room also has a fireplace with a mantel, and includes the large baseboards found in most of the rooms of the house.

Off the living room is a walk-in closet, which could allow this room to be used as a bedroom.

At the back of this level, the master bedroom includes two tall windows and a transom over the door. A fireplace with a detailed mantel and a mirror sits between the two windows. Off the master bedroom is a restored full bath with a claw-foot tub.

The third level includes a rear bedroom that echoes the shape of the master bedroom, with a fireplace between the windows. An adjacent full bath also includes a claw-foot bath tub and two pedestal sinks.

At the front of this level is the third bedroom, which has a balcony at the front, a fireplace and a deep walk-in closet. Adjoining this bedroom is a small room, currently used as a hobby room.

The two rooms combined could function as a bedroom and playroom for two children, or even a master bedroom and sitting room. Pull-down stairs to attic storage space are accessible from the smaller room.

The upper level also includes a large skylight at the top of the stairs, edged in stained glass. Off the landing is a laundry room.

This property also includes a separate lower-level apartment that is accessible through a private entrance and from inside the main house. The lower-level home includes a living area, a full kitchen, a stacked washer and dryer, a bedroom and a full bath.

Address: 1708 P St. NW, Washington, DC 20036

Community: Dupont Circle/Old City No. 2

Age: Built about 1900

Price: $1,525,000

Size: About 4,400 finished square feet on lot of 1,200 square feet

Taxes: $9,539 in 2005

Homeowners’ association fee: None

Exterior features: Brick Victorian-style home with professionally landscaped front garden, stone steps, rear deck with steps to the backyard patio, front balcony off upper level.

Interior features: Four finished levels with three bedrooms, 21/2 baths; main level includes foyer with fireplace, formal dining room with box bay window, remodeled kitchen with granite island and counters, upgraded appliances; butler’s pantry with French door to deck; second-level living room with box bay window and fireplace; master bedroom with fireplace and restored bath; third-level bedroom with adjoining room for nursery or office.

Amenities: Six wood-burning fireplaces, original hardwood flooring and extensive restored wood trim, 9- to 11-foot ceilings, built-in bookcases, natural gas radiator heat, central air conditioning, natural gas hot water and home warranty. Separate lower-level apartment includes bedroom, bath, full kitchen, living area and washer and dryer.

Close by: Two blocks to Dupont Circle, Metro station, Connecticut Avenue and 17th Street shops and restaurants

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Larry LaRoche with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 703/927-5953

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