House of the Week | Great Falls manor for $6.5M

Years ago, when the owner of this home in Great Falls visited the Homewood Museum on the campus of Johns Hopkins University, the national historic landmark made such an impression on him that it was his inspiration when he designed his home. Homewood Museum, which was built in 1801 by Charles Carroll Jr., is one of the nation’s best-surviving examples of Federal-period architecture, and that style is reflected in this 2004 manor.

A wide stone driveway leads up to a stately portico with Corinthian columns and a limestone floor. A copper roof with brass snow birds, an elegant cornice and 11-foot double-hung windows with redwood shutters complete the magnificent facade.

The evening rooms — the sumptuous library and formal dining room — are in the front of the house, an ideal placement for formal entertaining. The day rooms — the living room, family room and kitchen — are in the rear, which receives the most sunlight.

“When you spend some time there, you are very comfortable,” said listing agent Bay Buchanan of McEnearney Associates. (Buchanan — a former U.S. treasurer, manager of older brother Pat’s three presidential campaigns and conservative commentator — made a career pivot a year ago and became a real estate agent.) The house “overwhelms you the first time you are there. But once you’re in the rooms, it’s very warm, very inviting. It’s a very livable, very friendly place.”

For such a grand home, it has an unusual layout. Four of the bedrooms, including the master suite, are on the main level. The master bedroom and family room have glass conservatories attached to them. There’s also a sun room that’s drenched in natural light from the skylights.

The spacious kitchen has an ornate tin ceiling, a feature that’s also incorporated into the bar downstairs.

The 4,200-square-foot lower level is large enough that “you could have a daggone touch football game” there, Buchanan said. The wine cellar has room to store a vineyard’s worth of wine.

The flat, five-acre lot abounds in trees and shrubbery, making the grounds well suited for outdoor entertaining. A 1,300-square-foot apartment above the four-car garage can be used for staff quarters or an in-law suite.

The five-bedroom, 10-bathroom house is listed at $6.5 million. For more information and to watch a video about the home, visit 929leighmill.com.

Listing: 929 Leigh Mill Rd., Great Falls | Video

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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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