- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Condominium buyers in Washington must sometimes have a feeling of deja vu. So many of the newer condominiums follow a similar pattern of an open, loft-style combined living and dining area open to the kitchen, which has stainless steel appliances, granite counters and maple cabinets.

While these newer homes have their charm, buyers looking for something a little different may want to visit the Woodward, a pre-World War I Spanish colonial-style building at 2311 Connecticut Ave. NW, where the homes follow a less rigid pattern.

Built in 1910 as an investment by Samuel Walter Woodward, the Woodward was one of six apartment buildings built by the co-founder of Woodward & Lothrop, Washington’s former department store chain. Woodward also built several commercial buildings.

Harding and Upman Architects designed all of Woodward’s apartments, along with the Woodward Building at 15th and H streets Northwest and the original Woodward & Lothrop department store, which is today being restored and leased as retail and commercial space. The facade of the Woodward apartment building was influenced by several earlier buildings that had been built in Washington and New York City, according to the article on the Woodward by James M. Goode in “Best Addresses: A Century of Washington’s Distinguished Apartment Houses.”

The Woodward building, designed in a modified U-shape, faces Connecticut Avenue just south of the Taft Bridge and across the avenue from the Chinese Embassy.

The baroque-style facade includes columns and elaborately detailed terra cotta moldings, which today are enhanced with bright touches of paint. Two pavilions have been built on the upper corners of the building with hip roofs. The corner pavilion on the left side overlooks Rock Creek Park and has open sides to function as an open-air pavilion for residents to use in the summer.

The Woodward is just as elaborately decorated inside, where the lobby includes a mosaic floor, white marble wainscoting, stone walls and layers of extensive moldings and trim, some accented with gold paint.

The secure building includes a front desk in the lobby.

After being converted to a condominium in 1973, the Woodward’s board of directors has continued to improve the property by restoring the red-tile roof, repointing the exterior brick and restoring the ceilings in the hallways.

A corner unit, No. 301, is now on the market for $699,000.

This home has 1,451 finished square feet with a distinctive historic flavor to the rooms. Hardwood flooring throughout the home has been stained and matched with deep wood trim around the windows, including whimsical wood moldings in a curlicue shape that have been placed above many of the windows.

The wood doors and a heavy wood beam across the living room ceiling also match the trim and flooring.

The front door opens onto a spacious foyer with a high ceiling and two coat closets. The foyer is so extensive it could easily function as a sitting room or library in addition to providing an area for welcoming guests.

The foyer opens onto an expansive living room, double the size of most condominium living rooms. Track lighting and a ceiling fan have been added to this room, along with a mirrored wall. Seven windows line two walls of the living room, offering views of the Chinese Embassy, a small park and up and down Connecticut Avenue.

On the opposite side of the foyer is a separate formal dining room, which has three windows, a mirrored wall, high ceilings and track lighting. A crystal chandelier and two matching sconces currently add drama to this room and may be purchased by the home buyers, if desired.

Just past the dining room is the updated kitchen, a narrow but well-designed space with a separate entrance to the hall at one end, perfect for entertaining with caterers. The kitchen has black-and-white ceramic tile flooring, a window at one end, Corian counters, a mirrored backsplash, two ceiling fans with lights and plenty of white cabinets with silver knobs, including a pantry. The upgraded appliances include a Sub-Zero stainless steel refrigerator, a Dacor gas oven and range, a dishwasher, a built-in microwave and an extra-large stainless steel sink.

The bedroom area of the home can be reached by a hall next to the front door, which includes a dramatic wrought-iron gate. The master bedroom, at the back of the home, has hardwood flooring, three windows, track lighting, a ceiling fan and a large closet with three doors. The private master bath has decorative exposed brick walls, ceramic tile flooring and a window.

The second bedroom includes two doors, one from the bedroom hall and one leading directly into the living room. This bedroom has a mirrored wall, hardwood flooring, a double-door closet and a unique feature that is original to each apartment in the Woodward: a built-in wall safe. The second full bath has decorative exposed brick walls and ceramic tile flooring.

Buyers might expect a home facing Connecticut Avenue to include blasts of city noise, but this building is so solidly built, with heavy walls and deeply set windows, that the home is extremely quiet. So when residents want a bit of city life, they can simply stroll north or south along Connecticut Avenue to find restaurants, shops and movie theaters or to hop on the Metro to explore other areas of the city.

Address: 2311 Connecticut Ave. NW, No. 301, Washington, DC 20008

Community: Kalorama

Age: Built in 1910

Price: $775,000

Size: 1,451 finished square feet

Taxes: $5,336 in 2005

Condominium fee: $906.95 per month, includes all utilities plus management, reserves and maintenance

Exterior features: Spanish-style colonial high-rise facing Connecticut Avenue across from Chinese Embassy

Interior features: Two bedrooms; two full baths; hardwood flooring; high ceilings; extensive moldings and trim; track lighting; formal dining room; large foyer; large living room; updated kitchen with second entrance includes ceramic tile flooring, Corian counters, ceiling fans, pantry and upgraded appliances; master bedroom with private full bath; second bedroom with adjacent hall bath.

Amenities: Front desk in lobby, secure building, laundry room on same level, extra storage, pets allowed

Close by: Walk to Woodley Road Metro, Dupont Circle, easy access to Georgetown, downtown

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Suzanne Goldstein of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. at 202/244-0400

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