House of the Week | A Capitol Hill home for $1.8 million


View Photo Gallery: The Washington Post’s picks of distinguished homes on the D.C. area market.

Even without its history, this week’s featured house, on Capitol Hill, would be worth a second look.

Richard Rothwell built the Second Empire house in 1874 for his wife and seven children. Rothwell was a stonemason who worked on the U.S. Capitol and what is now the National Building Museum.

Thomas B. Grooms and Taylor J. Lednum wrote in their 2005 book, “The Majesty of Capitol Hill,” that “this house is a product of America’s post-Civil War flirtation with French architecture.” The exterior of the house is eye-catching with its slate mansard roof, dressed stone facade with corner quoins, filigreed balcony and keystone arches.

“It’s very stately,” said listing agent Linda Pettie of Coldwell Banker Residential. “It has sandstone and brick, which is very unusual for a lot of the Capitol Hill houses. We don’t have a lot of sandstone up here. Then there’s also the prominent location on a corner. It really does stand out.”

One of the visitors to Rothwell’s home was Buffalo Bill Cody, who stayed there during his Wild West Show years. Rothwell’s daughter Anna married William Peake who became a business partner of Buffalo Bill’s. To this day, many people refer to the home as the “Buffalo Bill House.”

Later, the house was divided into apartments. The tenants reportedly included members of the White House Plumbers, a covert group of men brought together during Richard Nixon’s presidency to stop leaks of classified information.

The current owner, an architect, completely renovated the house after buying it in 1973, restoring many of the original character-defining features. New crown molding was installed in wet plaster. The wood trim was replaced with hardwood sections milled especially for the project.

The home, which is on the market for the first time in 40 years, is listed at $1.8 million.

Listing: 28 Ninth St. NE

Last week’s House of the Week

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Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market.

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