Back in 1969, when California Lt. Gov. Robert Finch and his family were moving to Washington for Finch’s new job with the Nixon administration, they had two requirements for their next house. They wanted a home with five bedrooms, and they wanted it to be near water.
Finding such a house in the District on a government employee’s salary proved nearly impossible, so they looked to the suburbs, where they found this Colonial on Lake Barcroft in Falls Church, Va. Lake Barcroft, one of the first major real estate developments in Fairfax County, attracted several notable Washingtonians during the 1960s, including Pierre Salinger, Ramsey Clark and Finch.
Finch, who was Nixon’s first choice as his vice presidential running mate in the 1968 presidential election, had a long association with the 37th president. The two Californians met in Washington when Finch worked for Rep. Norris Poulson. Nixon hired Finch as his administrative assistant when he was vice president during the Eisenhower administration and then asked him to manage his presidential campaign against John F. Kennedy. When Nixon became president, he appointed Finch to his Cabinet as secretary of health, education and welfare.
“Throughout our father’s long political career, he depended on the counsel, wisdom and friendship of Bob Finch,” Nixon’s daughters, Tricia Cox and Julie Eisenhower, said in a statement after Finch’s death in 1995.
The Finches were the second owners of the 1964 house. Not long after they moved in, the transplanted Californians added a screened deck off the dining room. Because it overlooks the surrounding trees and the lake, “we call it our tree house,” Finch’s wife, Carol, told Myra MacPherson in a 1969 article in The Washington Post.
The Finches stayed in the home until 1972, when Finch resigned his post as presidential counselor. The family returned to California but left behind their canoe, which remains at the house to this day.
The Colonial, with its stately brick facade and wide portico, looks much the same as when the Finches lived there. The current owners, who bought the home in 1998, are just the fourth to own it. They updated the kitchen and remodeled the bathrooms but made few other alterations.
The five-bedroom, three-bathroom, 3,867-square-foot house on nearly a half-acre with 94 feet of waterfront is on the market for $1.299 million. The homeowners’ association fee is $335 annually.
Listing: 6323 Beachway Dr., Falls Church, Va.
Listing agent: Ken Trotter, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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