House of the Week | Cleveland Park ‘Wedding Cake’ home for $5.25M


(Photo by HomeVisit) 3225 Highland Pl. NW

Known affectionately as the “Wedding Cake” house, this gambrel-roofed home was one of the first built in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Northwest Washington.

The house derives its name from the Adamesque swag similar to icing piped on a wedding cake that decorates the frieze above the 15 Ionic columns guarding the circular front porch. Because Robert Thompson Head, who designed the 1898 home, was one of the more prolific architects in Cleveland Park’s early days, the frieze’s motif can be seen repeated on other dwellings in the neighborhood.

Cleveland Park has long attracted a number of illustrious residents, beginning with President Grover Cleveland. By building his summer home here, Cleveland gave the neighborhood its name.

This home’s previous notable owner was Baseball Hall of Fame member Henry ­“Heinie” Manush, a southpaw Southerner who edged out Babe Ruth for the American League batting title in 1926. Manush lived in the home while playing for the Washington Senators from 1930 to ’35.

Stone steps lead to a commodious porch that is well-suited to relaxing on a summer day. The original front door is embellished with a wreath that is in sympathy with the frieze. A Federalist-style fan light and side lights surround the entry.

Many period details remain, including original heart pine flooring, elegantly carved fireplace mantels and pocket doors.

A spacious foyer with fluted columns welcomes you into the home. To the right, the handsome living room has a wood-burning fireplace. Up ahead, another wood-burning fireplace and bay windows are in the stately dining room. The side porch, which lies just off the dining room, is an ideal spot to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.

The remodeled kitchen with its slate countertops and cherry cabinetry won an award from the Cleveland Park Historical Society. As part of the remodel, a breakfast nook was added. It is surrounded on three sides with tall panes of glass topped by transoms. An electric fireplace warms the space.

Three of the seven bedrooms are on the second floor, including the master. The third floor, which once was used as a ballet studio, has four bedrooms.

A large grassy area dominates the back yard, while a fountain bought from the Washington National Cathedral nursery graces the side yard.

The 6,200-square-foot home is listed at $5.25 million.

Listing: 3225 Highland Pl. 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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