Back in 1950, when Walter Gropius was planning the Lake Barcroft community in Falls Church, he had specific ideas of what was to be done. Gropius, then the dean of Harvard University’s graduate school of architecture and design and perhaps best known as the founder of the Bauhaus school, had been brought to the project by its developers.
Led by Col. Joseph V. Barger, the Boston partnership bought the lake and 680 acres of land for $1 million with the intention of creating a rustic enclave of small country estates. Lake Barcroft was one of the first major real estate developments in Fairfax County.
According to a 1950 Washington Post article, Gropius envisioned creating a large nursery for children, adding enough azaleas “to make the rolling hills a riot of color” and installing barbecue pits on every porch “to make for country living.” He planned to design four moderately priced homes for the community. Only one ended up being built, however.
In a 2001 history of the community, longtime resident Anthony Bracken wrote that Barger insisted the homes in the development were to be custom built, with plans subject to architectural review to prevent not only substandard houses but also repetitive design.
Noted architect Charles Goodman designed many homes in Lake Barcroft, which has one of the area’s largest concentrations of midcentury modern houses. In the 1960s, it attracted several notable Washingtonians, including Pierre Salinger, then-Attorney General Ramsey Clark and a handful of congressmen.
The architect of this 1955 home is lost to time. But with its butterfly roof and floor-to-ceiling windows, the house embraces midcentury modern design aesthetics, including being in harmony with its surroundings.
Perched on a hillside above the lake, the 2,396-square-foot home is on a nearly half-acre wooded lot with 210 feet of waterfront. A deck stretches the length of the house and wraps around to a screened porch.
The low-slung house with its understated facade gives way to an interior where large panes of glass offer panoramic views of the trees and water. The living area and den are bisected by a double-sided, wood-burning fireplace. Two of the bedrooms, including the master, are on the main level. The other two are on the lower level.
Given the tranquil surroundings, it is no surprise that the owner, just the second to call the place home, has remained there for more than 50 years.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home is listed at $1,165,000.
Listing: 6122 Beachway Dr., Falls Church, Va.
Listing agent: Ken Trotter, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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