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Whimsical Potomac, Md., estate lists for $9 million

The house has a full-size plane in its billiards room, a model train that runs between two levels and a firehouse pole

The 2002 house, built by Ted Visnic of Visnic Homes, has a full-size plane suspended from the billiards room ceiling, a model train that circulates through two levels and a firehouse pole. (Marlon Crutchfield)
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The owners of this fieldstone house in the Round Hill neighborhood of Potomac, Md., found just about everything they wanted in a home and more.

When the married couple, both engineers, began their house search, they put together a “program of requirements,” detailing what they wanted in a house. A POR is typically used when designing hospitals, research facilities and similar buildings. In this case, it helped them identify what was most important in their next home.

This 2002 house, built by Ted Visnic of Visnic Homes, met nearly every one of their requirements. It has the grandeur they sought. It has the space they desired. But it still felt comfortable and welcoming. And when they walked outside and sat poolside — feeling the cool breeze created by the overhead fan in the pool house and listening to country music piped through the sound system — they knew that this was the home for them.

The one thing they wanted that it didn’t have was a home theater. But since there was space for one, that was easily remedied.

Distinguished homes for sale in the D.C. region

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Potomac, Md., estate | The 2002 house, built by Ted Visnic of Visnic Homes, has a full-size plane suspended from the billiards room ceiling, a model train that circulates through two levels and a firehouse pole.It is listed at just under $9 million. (Marlon Crutchfield)

The house also had some things that enchanted them, such as a full-size plane suspended from the billiards room ceiling. The plane is the first that retired local businessman and author Tom Blair flew solo, in 1960. Blair, who collects and flies vintage planes, gave the plane to his son Andrew, who was the first owner of the house. Visnic built the plane into the house, which is why Andrew didn’t take it with him when he sold the house to the current owners. The plane, which you can sit in if you are unafraid of heights, is connected to the Dulles Air Traffic Control tower. By hitting a switch, you can hear what is happening in the tower.

Having a plane inside a house isn’t unusual for the Blairs. Tom Blair had a British Spitfire hanging in his house on the Eastern Shore. And the family’s flair for whimsy goes beyond airplanes. Across the street from this house is the one Tom Blair built in 1987. It has a model of a small town in the basement, with a gas station, a post office and a theater. This house has a model train that circulates through rooms on the main and lower levels, and a firehouse pole runs from the owner’s suite sitting room to the billiards room.

In pre-covid times, the house was well suited for entertaining, from intimate gatherings to large crowds. But it also has worked well during the pandemic. The house has two home offices, one of which is a partial copy of the White House’s Oval Office. The tearoom is a cozy, light-filled space. And the fitness room, the indoor basketball court and the heated swimming pool provide the means to stay in shape. The backyard, with its rose and boxwood gardens, is a lovely setting for socially distant get-togethers, and one of the owners spent many a summer day working in the vegetable garden.

But for all its elegance and luxuriousness, the house doesn’t take itself too seriously. After all, with a plane, a model train and an attached five-car garage, it evokes the 1987 Steve Martin-John Candy comedy “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”

The nine-bedroom, 13-bathroom, 21,375-square-foot house is listed at just under $9 million.

11400 Highland Farm Ct., Potomac, Md.

Price: $9 million

Features: The 2002 house, built by Ted Visnic of Visnic Homes, has a full-size plane suspended from the billiards room ceiling, a model train that circulates through two levels and a firehouse pole. It also has 13 fireplaces. The lower level has a home theater with a 135-inch screen and seating for 21, a basketball court and a fitness room. The grounds include a heated swimming pool and landscaped gardens. The five-car garage is attached.

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 9/13

Approximate square-footage: 21,375

Lot size: 2 acres

Listing agent: Wendy Banner, Long & Foster

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