Real estate agent Michael Shapiro and Falls Church-based architect Michael Cook are always on the hunt for midcentury houses in need of rehabilitation. The two have partnered on several projects. Their most recent one is a Charles Goodman home in the Lincolnia Park neighborhood of Alexandria.
“We call it the secret Goodman,” Cook said.
Midcentury modern houses are few and far between in this area, and too many of them have fallen into disrepair. Shapiro and Cook hope to find these houses before they are razed and give them a new life.
“There’s a limited amount of these houses that are out there, and most people are tearing them down,” Cook said. “We see economy in trying to rehabilitate those houses.”
Besides, Cook said, “the D.C. market has enough 25-room houses where every little function is contained in a room. I’ve spent too much time in California and saw too many houses where they are basically turning those notions upside down. I just think [an open floor plan is] a better way to live.”
The 1951 house had all the hallmarks of a Goodman home — the iconic brick-end wall that houses the chimney, the kitchen pass-through and the open floor plan. Cook, who has redesigned about 30 midcentury homes, seeks to be respectful to the original design while incorporating modern elements that reflect contemporary tastes.
“We want to reuse as much of the existing building — whatever is there — as much as possible,” he said. “Our design more reflects today’s living, but we still want to embrace the open-plan style.”
For Cook, the inspiration for this home came from the kitchen.
“The kitchen is the new center of the house,” he said.
An 11-foot, quartz-topped island with seating anchors the space. Warm ash wood sheathing on the structural beam, shelving and trim contrasts well with the sleek white cabinetry. The backsplash is made of Holland’s Royal Mosa tile.
The house’s most dramatic space is the cantilevered master suite atop the two-car garage. With its 11-foot ceilings, the master bedroom feels open and airy yet maintains enough privacy. The master bathroom has Italian tile, a separate soaking tub and a glass-enclosed shower.
Because the house is pushed way back into the lot, the wall of glass across the front of the home opens up to the wooded property.
“One of Goodman’s really strong design talents is he really sited the building [well],” Cook said. “None of his houses are oriented toward the street. They are oriented toward nature. He really tried to make the living room space and its large window wall facing south or southwest.”
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home is listed for $875,000. An open house is scheduled for Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.
Listing agent: Michael Shapiro, Long and Foster
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