This Colonial belle, steps away from the heart of Old Town Alexandria, is a fine example of second empire architecture, with its elegant facade and mansard roof.

The ornamental doorway, illuminated by a glass lantern, signals the home’s period charm and provides a welcoming entrance to the detached house, which was built in 1880.

Although it’s steeped in historical detail — an ornate ceiling medallion in the entrance hall and the warm wood floors carry forward the theme — the four-level house has been modernized for today’s living. Most of the improvements were done in 2006.

Deep crown molding, handsome wood paneling and meticulously restored built-in bookshelves that flank a wood-burning fireplace create an inviting space in the living room. Pocket doors lead to a butler’s pantry, which connects the living and dining rooms. In the pantry, the wet bar has copper fixtures, a refrigerator and icemaker.

An antique crystal chandelier is the showpiece of the elegant dining room, which also has a wood-burning fireplace. In the updated kitchen, a raised hearth fireplace provides architectural interest.

Lovely bay windows that overlook the gardens are the centerpiece of the comfortable family room. French doors open to the outside from the room.

The second-level master suite includes a spalike bathroom with steam shower, Jacuzzi tub, double vanities and linen storage. There are two additional bedrooms on second level and two more on the third level.

A 500-bottle, temperature-controlled wine cellar is on the lower level. The gardens are full of boxwoods, colorful perennials and a serene water feature. The double lot is roomy enough for an expansive lawn. The brick patio is ideal for outdoor entertaining. An ornamental gate leads to two paved parking spots.

The property “is located on one of the most sought after blocks in the southeast quadrant of historic Old Town,” listing agent Mark McFadden of Washington Fine Properties wrote in an e-mail. “This gracious home’s historic appeal with modern updates are augmented by its deep garden and off street parking.”

The five-bedroom, four-bathroom home is listed at $2.875 million.

Listing: 208 Saint Asaph St. S, Alexandria

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@KathyOrtonWP, @postrealestate

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