The Federal-style rowhouse in Georgetown’s East Village was built as part of a pair during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. The clapboard houses are believed to have been constructed between 1862 and 1863 by the same builder. From the exterior, they are nearly identical twins. But on the interior, these homes lose their similarity.
Both houses, which have been featured on the Georgetown House Tour several times, have had their share of famous residents. This one was home to Stanley Woodward, Col. Percy Black, Anthony C. Stout and Henry Brandon.
Woodward was a Foreign Service officer and State Department official who served as U.S. ambassador to Canada. He was the State Department’s chief of protocol during the Truman administration and later served as treasurer of the Democratic National Committee. Black was the military attache at the American Embassy in Berlin just before World War II and later chief of the German Intelligence Section in the War Department. Stout founded the National Journal, and Brandon was the Washington correspondent for the London Sunday Times. His wife, Mabel Hobart Wentworth, who was later known as Muffie, became the White House social secretary during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
Unlike its twin next door — which was apparently carved up into apartments at one point — this house retains many of its original features, including the random-width hardwood floors and the elegant newel and banister of the stairs. The current owners, who have lived in the home for nearly 25 years, updated the kitchen and bathrooms for modern living but have been careful caretakers of the house. They also added a mortgage “button” to the newel. The tradition, believed to have started in New England, was to have a scrimshaw maker carve into a piece of ivory the date the home loan was paid off. The ivory “button” was then inserted into the newel.
A stately arched opening leads to the front parlor with its high ceilings. A marble fireplace is flanked by arched bookshelves. Because the front of the house faces south, the oversize windows provide abundant natural light. A second parlor has a fireplace and a wall of glass, with doors that open to the rear garden. The kitchen has bead-board cabinetry, granite countertops, a skylight and a breakfast banquette.
The master suite on the second floor has two Juliette balconies that overlook the garden, arched bookcases and a spacious dressing room with built-in closets. The owners use the second bedroom on this level as an office. It has the third fireplace in the house. The top level has two more bedrooms.
The lower level has a large rec room and extra storage.
Behind the house is a secret garden, where high brick walls offer privacy. Mature perennial plantings, an arched trellis and shade trees create a botanical paradise. Water from the fountain along the brick wall cascades into a brick basin, proving a soothing soundtrack.
The four-bedroom, four-bathroom, 2,404-square-foot rowhouse is listed at $3.25 million.
Listing: 3005 O St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Listing agent: Cynthia Howar, Washington Fine Properties
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