Correction to This Article
This article, about Kensington's Garrett Park Estates neighborhood, incorrectly referred to the Academy of the Holy Cross school as being affiliated with Holy Cross Church, which is on the same street. The school is not affiliated with that church; it is sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
Where We Live

'Where the houses grow with the families'

By Barbara Ruben
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, November 12, 2010; 8:28 AM

Suzanne Hudson went house hunting right after getting her wisdom teeth removed. She looked at several houses, settling quickly on one in the Garrett Park Estates neighborhood in Kensington.

Despite the hasty decision made in a haze of dental pain after a cursory house tour, Hudson is still there 43 years later.

"When I think back on it, if someone said, 'You're going to be here for 40-some years,' I'd say, 'You've got to be crazy,' " Hudson said. She calls it "sort of serendipitous" that she found the house, nestled in a neighborhood of primarily brick ramblers, split-levels and Colonials built in the early to mid-1950s.

Over the years, Hudson has expanded her split-level, bumping out the dining room and adding more space to the master bedroom.

Fellow Garrett Park Estates resident Duncan Ferguson is now enlarging his own three-bedroom, 11/2-bath split-level.

"The closets are the size of postage stamps, and there's essentially no storage," he said of the house he, wife Laura and their two daughters have lived in for 14 years.

The Fergusons have decided to enlarge the master bedroom, adding a walk-in closet and a porch rather than moving to a more spacious house.

"It's a safe, quiet, friendly residential community in a very good school district," said Duncan Ferguson. "We're very close to transportation; I can walk to the Grosvenor Metro station."

The Kensington community is about a mile from both the Grosvenor and White Flint stops on the Red Line.

"It's a neighborhood where the houses grow with the families. Many people have opted to get a little house, thinking maybe they'll add on someday," said Mimi Keister, a Long & Foster real estate agent who has lived in Garrett Park Estates since 1965.

On most streets, there has been at least one tear-down of an original house, with a much larger house taking its place.

"Not many people are selling in the neighborhood right now, but for those who are, if it's updated and presentable, they'll do okay," Keister said.

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