House of the Week | Logan Circle Victorian for $4.4 million

November 8, 2013

In 1975, not many years after riots decimated parts of the District, Jackie and Charles Reed found this Logan Circle Victorian that was less than a block from 14th Street NW, one of the hardest-hit areas.

At the time, the neighborhood was in decline. The house was a dilapidated shell and had been turned into a rooming house.

“Enough of it was here that you could see what it was, but it was all kind of mistreated,” Jackie said.

Even though most people would have walked away given the daunting project, the Reeds saw the enormous potential, not the pitfalls involved in renovating the 1887 house that had been designed by noted architect Harvey L. Page.

“We walked in, we saw the staircase and that was it,” Jackie Reed said. “We just fell in love with the architecture, and we thought there’s no way [the neighborhood] wouldn’t get renovated because it was so close to everything.”

Charles told Jackie it would take six months to renovate the house, which they christened “Aaron Shipman” in a nod to the house’s original owners, John and Priscilla Shipman. (Aaron comes from Jackie’s family.) It took them eight years, doing most of the work themselves. Along the way, Charles developed a passion for woodworking. His technique for re-creating a decorative feature for the fireplace mantel was published in Fine Woodworking magazine.

They painstakingly restored the elegant staircase, fireplaces and mantels, adding stained-glass windows, chandeliers and oak flooring. They brought the home into the modern era while maintaining its historic character.

“It’s a great house to entertain in,” Charles said.

The Reeds were as meticulous about the outside of their home as they were the inside. After buying the lot next to them, they tapped Raymond Kaskey to design their outdoor space. You would be hard-pressed to find an outdoor area in Logan Circle as spacious and serene as this one.

“This is the biggest mistake I made,” Jackie said. “He wanted to sculpt me for the fountain, and I said no. And now he’s the most famous sculptor in the world.”

As their children grew older and left home, the house became too big for the couple. Charles wanted to sell and downsize, but Jackie persuaded him to open a bed-and-breakfast. For the past 30 years, they have welcomed guests into their home.

Although it will be bittersweet for them to move, the Reeds have decided to leave behind this three-story jewel on Q Street. The 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom, four-level home is listed at $4.4 million. An open house is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Listing: 1310 Q Street, NW

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@KathyOrtonWP, @postrealestate

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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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Kathy Orton · November 7, 2013