- - Thursday, December 1, 2011

Since 1924, the stately home at 4331 Cathedral Ave. NW in Wesley Heights has presided over this quiet street from within its private setting.

While the home has been meticulously renovated and enlarged over its 87-year history, the elegance of its architecture has never faded. Stone steps lead from the sidewalk to the covered front door, which is flanked by tall windows with shutters. The quadruple window at the top of the house offers an enticing suggestion of the delightful rooms to be found on the attic level.

The pale-gray-painted shingle exterior is complemented by a glass-enclosed porch on each side of the main level, and the home is encircled by lawns, mature trees and low-maintenance plantings. The terraced rear yard provides a deck, a flagstone patio with a corner fountain and pond, plus a level lawn perfect for a children’s play area. Stone steps lead from the deck to the top of the terraces, where a gate opens onto a two-car parking area with a row of enclosed storage sheds.

On the market for $1,995,000, this home has four finished levels with approximately 4,250 finished square feet. A fire damaged the upper levels in 2001 but also gave the owners an opportunity to replace the electrical systems in the home, add a new roof and remodel the two top floors of the house.

Architectural elements such as crown molding and deep trim around the baseboards, doorways and windows provide continuity in the older and new sections of the residence, along with hardwood flooring throughout the main and upper levels. Recessed lighting has been installed throughout the home, and the kitchen and all five bathrooms have been remodeled.

Perhaps the biggest change during the home remodeling was the addition of living space on either side of the home. While all the rooms in this home have oversized windows that let in plenty of natural light, the two enclosed porches are wrapped in windows on three sides, with transoms above for even more daylight.

One of the enclosed porches functions as the family room, with a wall of built-in bookcases and cabinets, floor-to-ceiling windows and a glass-paneled door leading to the deck. On the opposite side of the house, the other enclosed porch has floor-to-ceiling windows, French doors leading to the terrace, an exposed stone wall and a pocket door leading into the living room. This room currently functions as a home office but can be used a sunroom.

The wide center-hall entrance retains its traditional design and is filled with natural light that flows through a fanlight above the front door and sidelights.

To the right of the center hall is the generously proportioned formal living room, which stretches from the front of the house to the back. French doors open onto the front garden at one end, while a second set of French doors opens onto the deck. Built-in bookcases and cabinets flank the French doors, while a wood-burning fireplace with a carved Federal-style mantel adds warmth to the room. A side window frames a view of the patio, with a glimpse of the corner fountain and pond.

Across the foyer from the living room is the formal dining room, which has crown and chair-rail molding, French doors opening onto the front garden, a pocket door to the family room, and a swing door into the kitchen.

The kitchen and breakfast area have been renovated and include two walls of windows framing views of the deck and the terraced backyard. The focal point for the kitchen is the oversized center island, which has plenty of space for guests to gather and an abundance of open shelving and pull-out drawers and cabinets on all sides.

The kitchen includes granite counters; extensive wood and glass-paneled cabinets, including a pantry; undercabinet lighting; stainless steel appliances; ceramic tile flooring; and distinctive pendant lights. Nearby are a powder room and two double-door coat closets.

A hardwood staircase with a window seat on the landing leads to the first of two upper levels, which has a master suite with a spacious and charming sitting area with oversized windows on two sides. The suite includes a walk-in closet with custom-designed cabinets and a luxurious master bath with a whirlpool tub set under a window, a glass-enclosed shower, marble flooring and a double-sink vanity.

This level has two spacious secondary bedrooms, each with windows on two sides and a double-door closet. These two bedrooms share a renovated hall bath with beadboard walls, tile flooring and a pedestal sink.

On the attic level, a long window seat flanked by built-in bookcases and cabinets provides extra seating in a charming sky-level sitting room. The adjacent bedroom includes a gently sloping ceiling, a wall of built-in drawers, a closet and access to attic storage.

Across the hall is an office with a built-in double desk, a window seat and built-in bookcases, along with access to additional attic storage. This office easily can be converted into a fifth bedroom. This level also includes a renovated hall bath with tile flooring and a tall window.

The lower level includes a recreation room with recessed lighting, a door to the backyard and a kitchenette with a refrigerator, sink, cabinets and counter space. Adjacent to the recreation room is a renovated full bath with a shower. This level also has a large unfinished laundry and storage room, a walk-in storage closet and another unfinished storage room.

The delights of this Wesley Heights home extend beyond the residence itself into the lovely surrounding neighborhood, where residents stroll to the beloved Chef Geoff’s restaurant or to run errands or simply to admire each other’s gardens.


Address: 4331 Cathedral Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016

Community: Wesley Heights

Age: Built in 1924

Price: $1,995,000

Size: Approximately 4,250 finished square feet on lot of 11,250 square feet

Taxes: $15,577 estimated for 2012

Homeowners association fee: None

Exterior features: Traditional single-family home with gray-painted shingle exterior, stone front walk, low-maintenance landscaping, rear garden path to two-car parking space with enclosed storage sheds

Interior features: Four bedrooms; four full baths; one half bath; formal living room; formal dining room; family room; sunroom/office; center-island kitchen with breakfast area; second-level master suite with luxury bath, two additional bedrooms with hall bath; finished attic level with a bedroom, sitting room, full bath and office or optional bedroom; finished lower level with recreation room, kitchenette, full bath, storage and laundry rooms

Amenities: Terraced backyard with deck, flagstone patio with fountain, wood-burning fireplace, gas heat, built-in bookcases, window treatments, recessed lighting, hardwood flooring

Close by: Walk to shops, restaurants and parks; minutes to Georgetown, Tenleytown and Friendship Heights for shops and restaurants; easy access to downtown Washington, suburban Maryland and Virginia

Open house: 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4

Contact: Realtor Carol Somerville with Washington Fine Properties at 202/262-1671 or visit www.WashingtonFineProperties.com

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