Surreal estate: Steven VanRoekel buys Folger home for $6.9 million


The home near Rock Creek Park and Embassy Row is the last John Russell Pope-designed structure in Washington that’s still a private residence. (HomeVisit.com)

Buyer: Steven VanRoekel

Price: $6.9 million

Details: In 1935, legendary architect John Russell Pope designed this six-bedroom home in a woodsy Massachusetts Avenue Heights neighborhood for young investment banker John Clifford Folger (later an ambassador to Belgium) and his wife Kathrine. After 77 years, it is only now leaving the Folger family, according to public records: Sold to VanRoekel, a longtime Microsoft exec who came to D.C. as an Obama appointee, first with the FCC and now as the federal government’s chief information officer.

Sitting on 1.3 acres, the home features a pool and a separate “al fresco dining room” overlooking the terraced gardens. The home hadn’t even gone on the market officially before it fetched two offers, said Dana Landry of Washington Fine Properties, which represented the sellers (TTR Sotheby’s worked with the buyer); he called it a “one of a kind opportunity.” It’s the last D.C. residence designed by Pope — better known for his work on the Jefferson Memorial, National Archives and National Gallery — that remains a private home.

Read more on Where We Live: John Russell Pope house sells to White House chief information officer, 5/2/12

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