House of the Week | Queen Anne Victorian in NW DC for $4.25M


(Photo by Marlon Crutchfield) Glen Hurst in the Palisades neighborhood of Northwest Washington

Back in the 1890s during a real estate boom in Washington, a group of investors led by Stilson Hutchins, founder of The Washington Post, bought land adjacent to the C&O Canal with hopes of transforming the farmland into an elegant enclave for prominent city residents.

According to an Oct. 20, 1890, article in The Post about the neighborhood that would become known as the Palisades, “there can be no doubt that this will soon be one of the most desirable sections in suburban Washington.”

This Queen Anne Victorian, built about 1892 by John C. Hurst, a real estate broker who was part of the group, is one of the original houses constructed by the Palisades of the Potomac Land Improvement Co. Called Glen Hurst, it was designed by architect Richard Ough, who also built his home nearby.

In 2005, Glen Hurst was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a property of local significance and designated a historic landmark by the D.C. Historic Preservation Office. In its report, the Historic Preservation Review Board wrote that “this handful of early homes, including Glen Hurst, represents the founding of the Palisades neighborhood, the transition of the community from rural to suburban, and the character of the Palisades subdivisions before the streetcar.”

The home’s 2 1/2-story sandstone exterior is a rare example of full-height stone masonry in the Queen Anne style. Some of the stone used on the house may have been quarried in the immediate vicinity.

Many period details survive, including the plaster moldings and pine floors. In the living room, a Jefferson door leads to one of the porches. A gas fireplace with an ornately carved walnut mantel warms the room.

Modern touches, such as the David Iastesta chandelier in the dining room, add to the home’s charm.

Marble countertops and a custom marble sink bring elegance to the roomy kitchen. The oversized island has a built-in television.

The spacious master suite includes a sitting area with a gas fireplace and a bathroom with heated floors.

An expansive lawn unspools from the oversized deck and leads to a heated saltwater pool. A pavilion with a wet bar is ideal for grabbing a quick drink in the shade.

The four-level home, which adorns a hill on MacArthur Boulevard, is surrounded by mature trees and a fieldstone wall that frames the property along the sidewalk. The metal fence and railings were hand-forged by Chris Shea, an artist whose work is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The house, which has six bedrooms and five bathrooms, is listed at $4.25 million.

Listing: 4933 MacArthur Blvd. NW

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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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