What started as a small clapboard house more than two centuries ago evolved into this stately home with 21st-century amenities.

Often referred to as Holland House, this modest two-story home gradually grew into a 6,125-square-foot L-shaped dwelling on nearly a half-acre, a rare find in Old Town Alexandria.

Many accounts of the home’s history claim that it was built for a British sea captain, but author and historian Ruth Lincoln Kaye, who spent years documenting the history of Alexandria, found no evidence of such an ownership. Her research indicated that the home’s original owner was John Butcher, an Alexandria businessman, who built the house between 1783 and 1789, most likely 1785.


(Photo by David Meaux The gathering room with its Baccarat crystal chandelier was originally the formal dining room when Berenice Fleming Holland entertained.)

Sometime in the early 1800s, perhaps when Leopold Genzberger owned it, a two-story Flemish-bond brick addition was joined to the original structure. Genzberger, a tailor, lived in the home the longest — 57 years.

But it wasn’t until 1935 when society doyenne Berenice Fleming Holland added an ell along the north side of the property that the home became the showpiece it is today. She also put up the high brick wall to seclude her lavish gardens and connected the carriage house to the main house by a colonnade.

In 1969, the house was placed on Historic Alexandria’s Map of Historical Significance.


(Photo by David Meaux The mahogany-paneled library is on the second floor.)

The current owners finished restorations in 2010, adding modern conveniences — such as radiant heated floors, automated lighting, and entertainment and security systems — while preserving the home’s period character — such as the Baccarat crystal chandelier in the gathering room, the floors in the double parlor and the intricately carved molding.

Beyond the house itself, the sweeping outdoor space is a serene oasis from the hustle and bustle of Old Town. A formal courtyard with a bronze sculpture of Thomas Jefferson by Colorado artist George Lundeen greets visitors to the home. Brick walkways lead to lush greenery and meticulously landscaped gardens. An elaborate garden folly graces the lawn.

A carriage house with a bedroom, two bathrooms and a kitchen is tucked in the northwest corner of the property.

The property, which includes parking for five cars, is listed at $5.2 million.


(Photo by David Meaux An elaborate garden folly is part of the sweeping outdoor space.)

Listing: 415 Wolfe St., Alexandria

Listing agents: Kira Elvey Lopez and Victoria Kilcullen, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

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