- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2007

In 1921, just one year after Alexandria County had been renamed Arlington County to avoid confusion with the city of Alexandria, the county garnered national attention with the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, according to the Arlington Historical Society.

Plans were under way for the construction of the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which would tie this suburban Virginia community even more closely with downtown Washington.

Homes were being built in the Ashton Heights neighborhood during the 1920s, an eclectic mix of brick Colonials and ramblers with front porches and deep back yards.

Today, the Ashton Heights community provides quiet residential streets with tall oak trees and homes that have been restored and remodeled. Most of the homes are within walking distance of neighborhood shops and restaurants, and some can boast a location within walking distance of the Ballston Metro station. Rosslyn and Clarendon are also nearby.

The home at 632 N. Ivy St. in Arlington, now on the market for $1,125,000, was built by a local builder as a wedding present for his daughter in 1924.

The owners have restrained themselves from extensive remodeling and instead carefully restored the home to its original style and beauty, replacing windows with models similar to the original windows, adding chandeliers, paint colors, switch plates and wallpaper to reflect 1920s tastes.

The brick and stucco exterior of the home has been maintained impeccably and includes “facing bricks” on all four sides, which many homes only feature on the front facade. These bricks have been baked and finished for a smoother exterior surface.

The owners added striped awnings for sun protection on many windows. The perennial garden beds in the front and back of the home enhance the mature trees, and a small greenhouse offers additional gardening space in the back yard. The back yard also includes a detached two-car garage and a patio with a covered and an open section.

The home rests on .29 acres, one of the neighborhood’s largest lots, allowing for plenty of expansion space at the back of the home for future owners.

The entrance to the home has been designed for a vestibule with an interior door in addition to the front door, but the owners opened the home by creating a simple archway between the front door and foyer rather than blocking the space with a door. The original wood flooring found in the foyer runs throughout the home and on the stairs and has been polished to perfection.

French doors framed in wood open off the foyer into the formal living room and formal dining room. These doors were originally meant to control the temperature and air flow in the home.

The formal dining room includes extra-wide base moldings and chair-rail moldings. The original wood-framed windows have been replaced with windows that replicate the 1920s fashion with real wood dividers between the panes.

The generously sized dining room has a picture window facing the street. It also has a side window. The dining room features floral wallpaper and Limoges porcelain switch plates. The original restored radiators provide gas heat throughout the house, and dual-zone central air conditioning has been added for summer comfort.

While the kitchen has been modernized to meet the expectations of the gourmet chef in the family, it retains the 1920s appeal with a traditional black-and-white tile floor and high ceiling. A six-burner Viking range occupies one wall, and a niche contains the refrigerator. A door off the back of the kitchen leads to the backyard patio.

On the opposite side of the foyer is the formal living room, which has wooden French doors and windows at either end of the room. The living room includes a wood-burning fireplace with a brick hearth flanked by two tall windows.

A third set of French doors links the living room with the sunroom, which has ceramic tile flooring, a ceiling fan and tall floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides. These wood-framed casement windows were designed to direct air flow and open out to catch spring and summer breezes. The owners added radiator heat to this space so it can be used all year for casual living and entertaining.

The wood stairs to the upper level include a large landing with two tall windows framing a view of the back yard. The restored and polished hardwood floors continue into the upper level of the home.

The master bedroom includes an archway leading to a cozy sitting area with a wood-burning fireplace flanked by windows overlooking the rear garden. The sitting area includes two separate closets. The bedroom itself has two more windows and a private door to the adjacent full bath.

This bathroom has the original honeycomb tile flooring and black-and-white tile on the walls, with two windows facing the street.

The second bedroom has a ceiling fan, windows on two sides of the room and a closet. The third bedroom, which faces the back garden, has two windows and a charming archway leading to the closet.

Pull-down stairs from the upper level hall lead to an attic storage space.

Additional storage space is located in the full unfinished basement, which has a laundry room, a workshop and a temperature-controlled wine cellar.

Plans have been created to expand the home with an additional bath off the master bedroom above the sunroom, but owners can also consider expanding this 2,200-square-foot home into the back garden for additional living space.

Address: 632 N. Ivy St., Arlington, VA 22201

Community: Ashton Heights

Age: Built in 1924

Price: $1,125,000

Size: About 2,200 finished square feet on site of .29 acres

Taxes: $7,178 in 2006

Homeowner association fee: None

Exterior features: Colonial-style brick and stucco single-family home sited on a large lot with space for expansion; mature trees, garden beds, covered and open rear patios, detached two-car garage.

Interior features: Three bedrooms; one full bath; one powder room; center hall floor plan with formal living room with fireplace; formal dining room; sunroom; updated kitchen with chef-grade appliances; master bedroom with sitting area and fireplace; two additional bedrooms; pull-down stairs to attic storage; full basement with storage space, laundry room, workshop and wine cellar.

Amenities: Extensive rear garden including small greenhouse; period detail in wallpaper, paint colors, chandeliers and light switch plates; two wood-burning fireplaces; restored wood flooring; gas-fired radiant heat, dual-zone central air conditioning.

Close by: Walk to shops, restaurants; near Metro; minutes by car to Rosslyn, Georgetown and downtown Washington.

Schools: Long Branch Elementary, Jefferson Middle, Washington-Lee High

Open house: By appointment

Contact: Realtor Chris Fries of McEnearney Associates in Arlington at 703/598-7736.

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