- - Thursday, September 29, 2011

Many of the residences surrounding Dupont Circle are well-known architectural gems. While some hide unusual facets behind their stately facades, many people still would be surprised to learn they have been strolling past the rectory of St. Thomas Episcopal Parish for decades without realizing the property’s connection to that historic church. The rectory, at 1735 19th St. NW, served for much of the past 40 years as the home of the church’s priests.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church sat near the corner of 18th and Church streets Northwest from the early 1890s until 1970, when arsonists burned the church to the ground. Once one of the city’s grandest churches, a Gothic-style granite structure with a peaked roof, St. Thomas was where President Franklin D. Roosevelt worshipped.

Since 1970, the congregation has worshipped in a building at 1772 Church St NW., adjacent to a park that graces the corner where the church once stood. Now the parish has decided it is time to rebuild the church sanctuary. As part of that plan, the rectory is on the market for $1,299,999.

For the past three years, St. Thomas has rented the top three floors of the rectory to tenants, reserving the lower level as the home for the church’s music director, who is set to move out next month. This Federal-style row house, built in 1915, has approximately 3,900 finished square feet of space, with seven bedrooms, three full baths and a powder room, including the lower-level apartment.

In addition to its interesting history, the rectory offers potential buyers a chance to own an exceptionally large home in one of the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods.

Dupont Circle and the Dupont Circle Metro station are 3½ blocks from this home, which sits on a quiet, tree-lined side street away from the hubbub of restaurants and nightlife but within an easy walk of an array of urban amenities. The Phillips Collection, art galleries, restaurants, cafes, shops and clubs all are within walking distance of the rectory, as are Adams Morgan and Logan Circle.

The rectory offers an unusual opportunity to own a single-family home in this neighborhood; many similar row houses have been converted to condominiums and apartments. The property has expansive rooms, high ceilings, hardwood flooring and three working wood-burning fireplaces. Many of the home’s original details have been preserved carefully.

The rectory is in excellent condition, although buyers may choose to update the kitchen and bathrooms. The residence includes a small front garden enclosed by a wrought-iron fence, a side garden with a flagstone pathway and a spacious wood deck above the detached two-car garage. The deck is accessible from the lower-level apartment and the main level and has plenty of space to host an outdoor party in the midst of the city.

The wood front door includes an etched-glass insert and opens into a flagstone-floored foyer with a door to the lower-level apartment and hardwood stairs to the main house. The apartment includes a living room with tile flooring, two tall windows and a fireplace that has a detailed white-painted wood mantel. The dining area has ceramic tile flooring and French doors leading to the side garden. Nearby is a full kitchen with ceramic tile flooring, a bedroom with windows on two sides and a full bath.

The first level of the main home offers a spectacular open floor plan perfect for entertaining. At the front of this level is the living room, which has three tall windows overlooking the street, hardwood flooring, crown molding and two built-in bookcases that flank the wood-burning fireplace. The fireplace mantel, with its elaborate white-painted detailing, is a focal point for the room.

At the center of this level is an open hall between the living room and dining room that makes the entire home feel even larger than it is. The dining room has two windows facing the deck, a beamed ceiling and hardwood flooring.

At the back of this level are a powder room with a pedestal sink, and the kitchen, which includes a breakfast bar, a window and a wall of pantry closets. A glass door leads from the kitchen to a short wood walkway to the deck. Stairs from the walkway lead to the lower-level garden and the detached garage.

Hardwood stairs lead from the main hall to two upper levels, with a large skylight above the stairs filtering light to both levels. Both of these levels have hardwood flooring, and each has a full bath with tile flooring.

The first upper level includes an oversized front bedroom with a fireplace, a ceiling fan and three windows overlooking the street. This bedroom has three oversized closets.

At the back of this level is a charming bedroom, previously a sleeping porch, with windows on three sides. Adjacent to this bedroom is smaller bedroom with a closet, which also could function as a sitting room or home office.

The top level of the home has three bedrooms, including a rear bedroom with a ceiling fan and a window overlooking the deck. One of the front bedrooms has a deep walk-in closet, a ceiling fan and two tall windows overlooking the street, while the other has one tall window.


Address: 1735 19th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009

Community:Dupont Circle

Age: Built in 1915

Price: $1,299,999

Size: Approximately 3,900 finished square feet on lot of 2,000 square feet

Taxes: As a church, the owners have been tax-exempt, but taxes are estimated at $8,500, based on tax rates and list price

Exterior features: Federal-style brick row house with front garden and stone walkway inside low wrought-iron fence, detached two-car garage, side garden.

Interior features: Four finished levels with hardwood stairs and flooring; high ceilings; crown molding; main-level living room, dining room, central hall, kitchen with breakfast bar, pantry and powder room; second level with three bedrooms and full bath; third level with three bedrooms and full bath; finished lower-level apartment with a bedroom, full bath, living room, dining area, kitchen and French doors to garden

Amenities: Spacious deck off main level above detached two-car garage, three wood-burning fireplaces, zoned central air conditioning, gas radiator heat

Close by: Three blocks to Dupont Circle, walking distance to Adams Morgan, shops, restaurants, nightlife and Dupont Circle Metro station

Open house: 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 2

Contact: Broker Mark Meyerdirk with Urban Brokers at 202/489-6150

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