House of the Week | Adams Morgan brick townhouse for $1.8M

Bob Waldron’s influence remains in this Adams Morgan brick home designed by Harry Wardman. The current owner of the elegant turn-of-the-century townhouse preserved many of the well-known decorator’s details after buying it in 1997.

Waldron, who lived in the home until just before his death in 1995, came to Washington to work for then-Rep. Homer Thornberry (D-Tex.). He later served as President Lyndon B. Johnson’s aide before pivoting to interior design in 1964 at age 37.

In the next three decades, Waldron became a high-profile member of Washington’s design community, decorating homes for Wolf Trap founder Catherine Shouse, political pundit Robert Novak, former ambassador to the Soviet Union Robert S. Strauss and former senator Chuck Robb (D-Va.). He also designed the embassies of Jordan, Japan and Turkey. His work for Lady Bird Johnson at the LBJ Ranch was featured in the April 1986 issue of Architectural Digest.


(Photo by David Pipkin) Living room

Waldron’s formal, Old World style was popular in traditional Washington, and his wry sense of humor was reflected in his home. He commissioned Washington-based decorative artist Dana Westring to paint a trompe l’oeil ceiling in the antechamber of the foyer. The mural is of a blue sky with fluffy white clouds and white flowers. In it, a Renaissance pageboy is dropping an invitation addressed to Waldron over a marble balustrade.

The dining room is perhaps the room most like how it appeared when Waldron lived here. The limed-oak paneling and coffered ceiling contrasts nicely with the burnt-orange Fortuny fabric walls and window treatments.

The oak parquet floor with mahogany inlay in the living room predates Waldron’s ownership and is thought to be original to the home.

After he bought the house, the current owner, an avid art collector, added his own embellishments. He installed decorative plaster friezes throughout the home and mounted a stained-glass window in the skylight above the front stairs.


(Photo by David Pipkin) 1836 Belmont Rd. NW

Above the two-car detached garage, he built a wood deck to host dinner parties. There’s also a wood deck directly off the kitchen that is ideal for sipping morning coffee. A secluded brick Venetian-style garden between the two decks provides a relaxing oasis. The lower level of the home is a two-bedroom rental unit.

The 4,538-square-foot house is listed at $1.8 million.

Listing: 1836 Belmont Rd. NW, Washington

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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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