Trammell Crow Co., a Dallas-based private realty and investment firm that has left its development imprint on 42 cities across the nation, will make a flashy debut in Washington with a neo-Romanesque building in Georgetown.

Named Jefferson Court and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the eight-story, 295,000-square foot building will be on a 1 1/2-acre tract recently acquired by Trammell Crow in trade with Galliher Lumber, which is moving to Springfield.

Ben Paden, operating partner for Trammell Crow here, said the company is striving to do "something recognizable" in its first project on the site bounded by 30th, Thomas Jefferson and K streets, just north of Whitehurst Freeway.

Russet brick turrets will rise around an interior courtyard and be distinguished by peaks, balconies, arches and a glass roof that gives top-story tenants a full skylight.

Philip Norwood, Crow's D.C. marketing director, said the building will expand on a slope down from the Foundry complex on the north to an eight-story level at K Street. There will be arched entrances on both Thomas Jefferson and 30th streets and a corner entrance at K.

Norwood added that leasing plans call for a major restaurant in the building, 30,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor and parking for 245 cars. Turner Construction Co. is the builder, and completion is scheduled for 1983.

The Fine Arts Commission has given the project preliminary approval, according to Paden. Construction will start this fall at the site, which is north of Western Development's proposed Georgetown waterfront project of offices, retail space, condominium apartments and marina. However, old Georgetown interests have fought the latter project consistently, and it's facing D.C. building-permit hearings.

Paden said he expects no opposition to Jefferson Court, which was designed with a moderately low profile and an architecture reflecting the Georgetown heritage.

Although Trammell Crow's development story started with warehouses in Dallas, the company headed by the 67-year-old Crow has grown significantly over the years and now has major developments in Houston, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, among other cities and operations in Europe and South America.

The company tabulates more than $2 billion worth of properties for its investment and management portfolio and has more than $700 million involved in current projects.

Crow also has a warehouse development office in Rockville, and Donald Taylor is the partner in charge.

Although reluctant to discuss longer range projects for major office buildings or commercial development projects in this area, partner Paden said the company is considering some major projects in downtown, probably east of 15th Street NW, and smaller buildings on large tracts in Northern Virginia.