- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Owning a landmark home in the Washington area does not always mean you own the biggest home on the block or the tallest or the strangest. Sometimes it just means you own a property with a distinctive feature, such as two terraces, an amazing display of azaleas or an architectural style that sets it apart from the usual brick Colonials.

The “Spanish house on Potomac Avenue” in the Palisades neighborhood of Northwest Washington has become a local landmark because of its red tile roof and white-painted stucco walls, along with its location on a bluff above the Potomac River.

This home is at 5401 Potomac Ave. NW, just above Canal Road, and it is on the market for $1,495,000. The corner lot where this home rests includes wide swaths of green lawn and plenty of perennial plantings by the owner. The grounds include crepe myrtle trees, white azaleas, weeping cherry trees and pyracanthas, all added by the current owner as part of an extensive landscaping project in 2000.

The grounds of this Spanish villa include two stucco pillars with brick tops that frame a wrought-iron gate leading to the flagstone front walk. The walk leads to the flagstone stoop and wraps around the side of the home to the parking area. Just past the parking area is a fully fenced dog walk that can also be used as private outdoor space for gardening.

The owner has had plans drawn for a garage and for expanding the upper level of the home on both sides.

Across Potomac Avenue from this home are walking and biking trails along the bluffs above the river. Residents can also easily access the C&O; Canal towpath. Shops, services and restaurants are also within walking distance on MacArthur Boulevard. Georgetown, downtown Washington, the Beltway and the Virginia suburbs are also easily reached by car from this secluded home.

The original home on this site, built in 1953, was razed and replaced with the Spanish villa in 1993. The owner purchased and significantly remodeled the home in 1999. She describes the home as “essentially a town house by the river,” since it functions best for empty-nesters or perhaps a couple with a baby.

This home also functions well for entertaining, with the main level rooms linked together with dramatic archways, a shape echoed above the stairwells to the upper and lower levels.

Guests will be immediately drawn into the living room, a graceful room with angled walls that taper toward the French doors that open onto a wide terrace. The living room includes windows facing the front of the home and a wood-burning fireplace with a wood mantel.

The deep terrace features brick-colored paving stones accented with bright blue stones and has space enough for both dining and seating areas. The terrace faces the Potomac River and its banks of towering trees, offering a dramatic view of nature in every season.

The main-level foyer, library and kitchen all feature Saltillo tile flooring, adding to the Spanish atmosphere in the home. Soft, neutral paint colors of pale blue and green augment the home’s serenity.

The library features a wall of built-in bookcases that surround the arched door to the powder room. Two tall windows on the opposite wall fill the space with light. While the owner uses this cozy space for reading, relaxing and entertaining, the room can be easily put into use as a dining room. The library also has a built-in sound system.

An archway links the library and the open kitchen, which includes windows on three sides and recessed lighting for a bright and sunny ambience. The kitchen also has a door to the side yard and parking area, with the top half a window for more light. Upgraded appliances include a Sub-Zero refrigerator, a Jenn-Air wall oven and a Jenn-Air cooktop. The room includes granite counters, with a breakfast bar of granite tucked under one window. A deep pantry closet increases the storage space in the kitchen, which has ample wood cabinets.

The master suite occupies the entire upper level, with a large bedroom including a sitting area and French doors to a private terrace with a Potomac River view. The bedroom has a wood-burning fireplace that has been enhanced with built-in bookcases on either side. Two windows face the street, with two additional windows in the back corner of the room near the French doors. Buyers can opt to divide this room into a bedroom and a study, with additional living space built over the terrace.

The master bath, a completely romantic room, includes a deep whirlpool tub set into a tile alcove under a window. The bath also has a separate shower and walls of built-in drawers and cabinets. Nearby is a room-size walk-in closet. In addition to expansion space off the master bedroom, buyers can opt to expand this closet into another upper-level bedroom.

The lower level has been finished with two additional bedrooms. One bedroom includes two windows and a closet, while the second has a door to the rear dog walk and a high window. These two bedrooms share a full bath off the hall with a double-sink vanity.

The lower level also includes a large laundry room with a window, a sink with a granite counter and extra storage shelves. An additional storage room is under the adjacent terrace.

With spectacular views, extensive landscaping and a charming design, this romantic villa has become a local landmark in only 13 years.

Address: 5401 Potomac Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016

Community: Palisades

Age: Original home built 1953, razed and rebuilt on original foundation in 1993

Price: $1,495,000

Size: About 3,600 finished square feet on lot of 4,356 square feet

Taxes: $5,536 in 2007

Homeowner association fee: None

Exterior features: Spanish-style white-painted stucco single-family home with red tile roof; flagstone front walk and steps; corner lot with room for expansion; extensive gardens and landscaping with lawn; off-street parking for one car; fenced dog run

Interior features: Three bedrooms; two full baths; one powder room; Saltillo tile flooring in foyer, kitchen, library; carpeted living room with windows at front and French doors to terrace; master suite upstairs with sitting area, fireplace and French doors to private terrace; master bath with whirlpool tub set into tile alcove; separate walk-in closet; two additional bedrooms on lower level with full bath and laundry room

Amenities: Views of cliffs, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park and Potomac River; two terraces facing river; two wood-burning fireplaces; lawn sprinkler system; storage room underneath terrace; two-zone central air conditioning

Close by: Walk to Potomac River, biking and walking trails, shops and restaurants along MacArthur Boulevard; easy access to Georgetown; downtown Washington and Virginia and Maryland via Canal Road and Chain Bridge.

Open house: By appointment only

Contact: Owner/agent Elizabeth “Scout” Sinclair of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. in Georgetown, 202/841-4847.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide