Distinguished homes for sale in the D.C. region

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Hickory Ridge in Howard County | Hickory Ridge “is considered today one of the truly splendid homes built by the Maryland Ridgeleys,” Celia M. Holland wrote in her 1987 book “Old Homes and Families of Howard County, Maryland.” The 67-acre horse farm in Highland, Md., is listed at $9 million. (HomeVisit)

Described in a 1935 Washington Post Real Estate section article as “Homes Modern” and “homes ahead of their times,” semi-detached duplexes along upper 14th Street in the Brightwood neighborhood of Northwest Washington were revolutionary in that era: They featured air-conditioning.

This home was one of 12 designed by Harry Sternfeld, a professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, and built by Frank Koplin of Washington Builders.

At the time, air-conditioning was still a bit of a mystery to most people in the District. According to a Nov. 16, 1935, story in The Post, “air conditioning is still so new that many people do not realize exactly what it is.”

But they were curious to find out.

An advertisement for the homes in the Sept. 1, 1935, Washington Post noted that, “Thousands of people visiting a home in two short weeks — that’s phenomenal. But no wonder — the home is phenomenal — it’s air conditioning.”

While 1930s Washingtonians were no doubt taken with the home’s modern features, it is Sternfeld’s art deco design that continues to impress.

 “At first glance, [the homes] appear to be traditional houses of a quasi-Jacobean character,” according to “Washington Deco: Art Deco in the Nation’s Capital,” by Hans Wirz and Richard Striner. “But a closer examination shows a myriad of Deco and cubist features.”

In “Washington and Baltimore Art Deco: A Design History of Neighboring Cities,” Striner and co-author Melissa Blair also mention the homes.

The two-story dwelling is clad in red brick and with pink limestone arches and steps. A broken slate terrace leads to a cherry red entrance door. Maple paneling trimmed in aluminum adds warmth to the living room. The painting in the circle above the fireplace is original to the home. The circular artwork mimics the room’s porthole window.

The maple paneling continues in the dining room. Random-width oak floors add visual interest. The kitchen has been updated with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances.

An expansive deck is ideal for outdoor entertaining.

The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home is listed at $599,000. An open house is scheduled for Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Listing agent: Marilyn Charity, Washington Fine Properties

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