Democracy Dies in Darkness

Where We Live

A bit of Zurich in a house across from Rock Creek Park

By Kathy Orton

October 6, 2017 at 5:30 AM

A man dropping by an open house at the newly built contemporary home in the Hawthorne neighborhood of Northwest Washington remarked, “All the houses in Zurich look like this.”

Developer and real estate agent Sheryl Barnes smiled. A European aesthetic was what she sought when she built this home.

“We set out to do something that would show D.C. that you can build a high-end, quality contemporary home,” Barnes said. “I built it with my European crowd in mind.”

Related: [The District’s Hawthorne neighborhood is an enclave of trees and safety]

It has taken more than two years for Barnes to bring the project to completion. Because the property is across Oregon Avenue from Rock Creek Park, the design by architect Charles Warren of Teass-Warren underwent rigorous scrutiny by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. (Federal law requires the CFA to review plans to build or alter homes that border public spaces.)

10107 Gary Rd Potomac Md
Owner Jill Newman designed the copper-clad entry doors.
Only the foundation and the fireplace remain from the original house, a 1950s rambler.
Even though they didn’t need a formal living room, the owner’s husband wanted a space big enough for his grand piano.
In a nod to Frank Lloyd Wright, banks of windows and large panes of glass offer sweeping views of the outdoors.
The backsplash in the kitchen is made of slate tiles.
Newman designed the maple trim in and around the windows.
Slate tiles encase the fireplace in the family room.
Newman is a lawyer turned artist who creates hand-felted jewelry and sculpture and who teaches needle felting and mixed media. Her home studio is shown.
The home office has built in bookshelves and large windows.
Nearly the entire house was wired for a sound system so music could be heard everywhere.
The house is on a 1.26-acre lot that is surrounded by mature trees.
The stately red brick Victorian rowhouse in Logan Circle is listed at $3.5 million.
The house was designed by noted Washington architect Glenn Brown for Thomas P. Simpson, a patent attorney and scion of a prominent Washington family.
The living room was one of the rooms in the house used in 1980 during the filming of “The First Family,” starring Bob Newhart.
When the current owner was having the plaster around the mirror painted, some of it crumbled, revealing newspapers from 1869.
The house has elegant millwork, high ceilings and wood-burning fireplaces.
The current owner updated the house for modern living, renovating the kitchen and bathrooms.
The current owner added the breakfast area.
The master bedroom has a bay window with original stained glass windows.
The master bathroom has a soaking tub and separate shower.
One of the rooms on the second level was turned into a family room.
The top level family room has a separate kitchen.
The brick courtyard behind the house leads to a carriage house with garage parking.
Kingston Hall in Westover, Md., is an 18th-century Georgian manor that was home to a former Maryland governor. The 25-acre estate is on the market for $649,999.
The original floor-to-ceiling raised paneling has been preserved.
Although the house has gone through more than a dozen owners, its historical integrity remains mostly intact.
The fireplace and wood floors in the dining room are original to the home.
The sunroom has a beamed ceiling and brick floor. Its windows overlook the river.
Thomas King Carroll, who took over Kingston Hall after his father’s death in 1818, was governor of Maryland from 1930 to 1931.
The large brick fireplace in the old kitchen is 7 1/2 feet wide and 4 1/2 feet tall.
The brick house was built toward the end of the American Revolution by Thomas King Carroll.
The seller is offering the house furnished with antique furniture, a grand piano and artwork.
A nearly 2,000-square-foot guesthouse has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Outbuildings include a guesthouse, historic icehouse, barn, horse stable and smokehouse.
The squat, circular building with a conical top is the sole surviving icehouse in Somerset County.
For the first time in 50 years, this Victorian house on a prominent corner lot in Old Town Alexandria is on the market. It is listed at $2.45 million.
The dining room has a large bay window and fireplace.
The elegant home has spacious rooms and high ceilings.
John P. Agnew and his heirs owned the home the longest. The Washington Post called him “one of Alexandria's most prominent citizens.”
The kitchen has one of the home's three fireplaces.
The house has four bedrooms.
The master bedroom is shown.
The current owners have preserved many of the house's period details, including the pine floors and graceful newel post on the front stairs.
Tall brick walls enclose the courtyard behind the house.
The brick patio is surrounded by mature plantings and a towering magnolia tree.
The 1973 mid-century-modern home was designed by noted Washington architect Winthrop W. Faulkner. It is listed at $1.4 million.
Thin wood beams soar across the vaulted ceiling in the living room.
The wood mantel on the large fireplace echoes the beams on the ceiling.
A geometric bookshelf with clever niches is ideal for displaying artwork and books.
Random-width hardwood floors add warmth to the space.
The house’s bucolic surroundings influenced the owner’s poetry.
Large panes of glass frame woodsy vistas throughout the home.
The master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling.
The owners expanded the master bathroom in later years.
They also added a screened porch. “You can’t see anything on the screened porch except trees and flowers,” owner Linda Pastan said.
A deck with a small garden is at the center of the house.
The 6.29-acre wooded lot provides privacy and seclusion.
The Federal-style rowhouse in Georgetown’s East Village was built as part of a pair during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. It is listed at $3.25 million.
The house retains many of its original features, including the random-width hardwood floors and the elegant newel and banister of the stairs.
A stately arched opening leads to the front parlor with its high ceilings.
A second parlor has a fireplace and a wall of glass, with doors that open to the rear garden.
The kitchen has bead-board cabinetry, granite countertops, a skylight and a breakfast banquette.
The master suite on the second floor has two Juliette balconies that overlook the garden and arched bookcases.
A spacious dressing room next to the master bedroom has built-in closets.
The owners turned this second-level bedroom into a den.
The third level has space for an office.
The lower level has a large recreation room and extra storage.
Behind the house is a secret garden where high brick walls offer privacy.
Water from the fountain along the brick wall cascades into a brick basin, proving a soothing soundtrack.
Former Washington Bullets player Gheorghe Muresan has put his Potomac, Md., house on the market for $2.2 million.
Double-entry doors open to a two-story marble foyer.
An ornate ceiling mural and sparkling chandelier adorn the foyer.
The floors in the den have a Jeffersonian flair. They are laid in a pattern that resembles the parquet floors in Monticello’s parlor.
The formal dining room also has unusual parquet floors.
When the Muresans renovated the house two years ago, they opened up the kitchen, where everyone tends to gather. It stretches almost the entire length of the house.
The breakfast area is part of the kitchen.
A massive stone fireplace and large wood beams give the family room a rustic feel.
You might expect everything in Muresan’s home to be oversize, to accommodate the man who is one of the tallest players in NBA history. But the master bedroom with its extra-long bed is the only place his size is evident.
A large dressing area in the master suite has built-in drawers and shelves.
The lower level is the only place you will find evidence of Muresan’s career.
In addition to a few framed jerseys, there is movie memorabilia from when he co-starred with Billy Crystal in the 1998 film “My Giant.”
The wine storage is on the lower level.
The Muresans fell in love with the home because of its spacious backyard, which they fill with peacocks and chickens.
The circa-1880 rowhouse in Northwest Washington was once home to Georgia Douglas Johnson, an African American poet and playwright. It is listed at $2.875 million.
Johnson is best known for her collections of poetry: “The Heart of a Woman” (1918), “Bronze” (1922), “An Autumn Love Cycle” (1928) and “Share My World” (1962).
The owner, with the help of architect Steve Lawlor and designer William McGovern, remodeled the home in 2010.
Thick black walnut covers the large kitchen island. A planter set into the island provides fresh herbs for cooking.
The breakfast nook is an ideal spot for people-watching.
Johnson remained in the home until her death in 1966.
Wood boards form a headboard and canopy in the master bedroom.
The master bathroom.
A private blue-stone patio offers plenty of outdoor entertaining space.
The patio connects the main house and the carriage house.
An underground wine passage connects the English basement to the carriage house.
The main living area of carriage house.
Photo Gallery: The Washington Post?s picks of distinguished homes on the D.C.-area market.

The CFA insisted Barnes incorporate the existing home, a 1941 rambler, into the new house. It also demanded changes to the original design including how many elements could be used and how many windows could be in the home. As a result, the house has a smaller roof deck, fewer windows and less patio space than Barnes wanted.

Even with the modifications, the house stands out among the ramblers and split-levels that dominate the neighborhood. Stacked white boxes covered in Nichiha siding flank an Ipe-covered midsection that retreats into the background. Sliding glass doors extend the living space onto a front and back patio. A bubbling water feature provides a soothing soundtrack at the entrance to the home. Rain chains are artistic as well as practical.

Related: [Tour to showcase cutting-edge Washington-area homes]

Heated travertine floors in the entryway give way to Canadian birch throughout the main level. Canadian birch also makes an appearance in the stairway banisters, adding warmth. The two-story masonry fireplace is wood burning but can easily be converted to gas. The floating travertine hearth is a nod to midcentury modern design.

“I love the way the light plays through the spaces we created,” Barnes said. “I like the way [the house] lives. It’s fun to entertain in.”

An office and guest bedroom bookend one side of the main level, and the kitchen and family room the other. The kitchen has Porcelanosa cabinetry and Caesarstone countertops.

On the second level, the master suite takes up the entire south wing. The three children’s bedrooms and a laundry room are in the north wing. A sitting area that overlooks the main living space separates the two. The master suite has a cozy balcony that overlooks the park.

The top level has a wet bar that leads to the roof deck. Behind the wet bar, a space with a reinforced floor could be turned into a home gym. A sixth bedroom or office is also on this floor.

The home has no basement. The two-car garage with a dog-washing station is the only part of the home that is below grade.

The six-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 6,500-square-foot house is listed at $3.3 million. The house will be part of Saturday’s Modern Architecture + Design Society Modern Home Tour.

Listing: 6940 Oregon Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

Listing agent: Sheryl Barnes, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

Previous House of the Week

Read more Real Estate:

Tour to showcase cutting-edge Washington-area homes

Builders imagine homes of the future — but some of their dreams are available today

GOP tax plan does not yet address many real estate questions

Kathy Orton is a reporter and Web editor for the Real Estate section. She covers the Washington metropolitan area housing market. Previously, she wrote for the Sports section. She came to The Washington Post in 1996 from the Los Angeles Daily News. She also worked at the Cincinnati Post.

Post Recommends

Where We Live

A bit of Zurich in a house across from Rock Creek Park

By Kathy Orton

October 6, 2017 at 5:30 AM

A man dropping by an open house at the newly built contemporary home in the Hawthorne neighborhood of Northwest Washington remarked, “All the houses in Zurich look like this.”

We're glad you're enjoying The Washington Post.

Get access to this story, and every story, on the web and in our apps with our Basic Digital subscription.

Already a subscriber?

Secure & Encrypted