This week’s featured house, a five-bedroom home in Old Town Alexandria, has maintained its authentic style, perhaps because it has had so few owners.
The oldest part of the home, the two-story rear section, may have been built in the 1830s or earlier. The three-story front section was built in 1856. The smoke house, now a tool shed, was built sometime in the 1800s.
Other than updates to the kitchen and bathrooms, much of the house is unaltered from the 1850s. All the mantels, decorative molding, gasoliers in the double parlor and the wood floors, except the kitchen floor, are original.
Robert C. Richardson III, who died in 2011 at age 92, owned the home for almost 50 years. He was only the fourth owner since 1890. Richardson was an Air Force brigadier general. After his retirement, he became a policy consultant to the American Enterprise Institute and the American Security Council Foundation. His wife, Anne Waln Taylor Richardson, died in 2009.
Since their deaths, the home has been extensively renovated and remodeled while maintaining its historic character.
“Our goal was to be good stewards for this wonderful historic property and repair infrastructure issues while enhancing the natural beauty of one of Old Town’s queens,” said Phyllis Richardson, daughter-in-law of Richardson. Phyllis Richardson worked with Lundberg Builders on the renovation and hired many Alexandria tradesmen to do the work.
The floors in the home are stunning with their intricate patterns and variety of woods. The parquet floors in the double parlor are a mix of oak, walnut and mahogany. Michael Purser, who restored the floors at James Madison’s Montpelier, worked on the floors in this house.
The library shelves were rebuilt as per the previous plan. The heart pine center of the floor is indented for a rug pad and rug to make the finished area flush with the exterior parquet floor.
The original gas chandeliers in the double parlor were last lit in the 1960s. Of the eight fireplaces in the home, five have their original marble mantels.
The floor in the gourmet kitchen is reclaimed antique heart pine. The counters are Pietra Cardoso granite. A Wolf 36-inch six-burner gas stove vents up the original fireplace with a remote fan blower.
The yard has a 225-year-old magnolia tree, a sprinkler system, terrace, brick steps and an herb garden.
The house is on the market for $3.45 million.
Listing: 212 S. St. Asaph St., Alexandria
Last week’s House of the Week
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