This week’s featured house can best be appreciated by those with a fondness for “The Brady Bunch” and the Bee-Gees.
Located in the prestigious Kent neighborhood of Northwest Washington — Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell live next door — the contemporary home designed by architect Bernardo Rostad was built in 1977.
Its distinctive cedar-and-glass construction has prompted a vigorous discussion of its merits. Ryan Nickum, a blogger for Estately, likens it to “a tree house and a spaceship had a love child.”
As befitting a home in this neighborhood, its owners have been very accomplished in their fields. The original owner, Carl F. Norden, was vice consul in Berlin before World War II and participated in the United Nations organizing conference in San Francisco. His father, Carl L. Norden, invented the Norden Bombsight, which the Navy used to target bombs from high altitudes.
Claire Lucas, former Democratic National Committee council chairman and international development expert, bought the home after Norden’s death. She lived there until the current owner purchased it in 2007.
Listing agent Michael Hines of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty acknowledges that the home is not for everyone.
“If you’re not familiar with ’70s architecture, most of the market will find it unappealing because it was a weird period,” he said. “It’s period specific, what the layman buyer will call dated because it looks exactly like it did in the ’70s.”
The current owner was so meticulous about maintaining the home’s period correctness that when the original Jenn-Air range in the kitchen gave out, he replaced it with an exact model he found on eBay.
Although the owner preserved much of the house’s quirky characteristics, he updated the home in other ways. He recently installed a green roof, making it one of the few residential properties in the region with a vegetated roof.
The main attraction in the six-bedroom, five-bath home is the central atrium with its 45-foot wall of glass. But it is hardly the only unusual feature in this home. The heated indoor pool is 10 feet deep and has a diving board.
Then there’s the bunker, at least that’s what the current owner calls the room below the garage.
“It’s not underground. I think you have to be completely underground for it to be technically a bunker,” Hines said. “This is [the owner’s] guess, but I have no idea. It’s the strangest thing you would ever see.”
The 5,414-square-foot home, which sits on a double lot on Chain Bridge Road, is on the market for $2.495 million.
Listing: 2724 Chain Bridge Rd. NW
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