But above all, the Lubars wanted their house to be the gathering spot for their children’s friends.
“We knew we could never build this house in Georgetown,” Greg said. “We wanted something large enough because our goal was — we had young kids — we wanted a place where the kids would [congregate]. We would be the house the kids come to.”
Distinguished homes for sale in the D.C. region
Phillips Park, off Foxhall Road in the Berkley neighborhood, is an exclusive enclave of 46 lots on the site of Dunmarlin, the former estate of art patrons Duncan and Marjorie Phillips. The Phillips moved to Dunmarlin after turning their Dupont Circle house into an art gallery, what became the Phillips Collection. The estate went through several owners before it was developed into Phillips Park in the mid-2000s.
The hilly community — bordered by Glover Archbold Park and Whitehaven Park — was mostly woods when the Lubars first saw it. “You had to have some vision because when they took us out to our lot, we were standing in the forest,” Greg said. “The agent was like, ‘Well, your house will be somewhere around here.’ ”
The Lubars were among the first to buy, in 2007, and they had to wait until the infrastructure — including utility lines and roads — was built.
“We had about two years with our architect,” Bruce Rich, Greg said. “We probably redesigned the house two or three times.”
It was during one of the redesigns that they decided to add the sports court to the lower level. Initially, they had planned to have a play area for their children in the basement. But Greg noticed how high the ceilings were going to be and asked whether it was possible to dig down further to create 16-foot ceilings. And that’s how the basketball court, which ended up becoming a multipurpose room, came about.
The court “literally changed the way our kids grew up,” Greg said. “Because it was the congregation spot. And by the way, it wasn’t just a basketball court.”
Next to the stadium seating they added a mirror and ballet barre for their daughter, who studied ballet for eight years. Because the walls are reinforced drywall, their son was able to use the court as a batting cage. They rollerbladed and played volleyball there, and they turned the space into a party room. The adults used it as much as the kids.
“We even did charity events,” Stacey said. “We did a poker charity event for the school, and then the Washington Ballet did a performance there.”
Another revision was adding geothermal heating and cooling to the house. The Lubars said they have six 800-foot wells on the property. Once they decided on geothermal, they no longer needed a room for mechanical systems. That room became bonus space that was used at various times as an arts-and-crafts room, a photography studio, an SAT study and college application area and now a ping-pong room.
Although the house was built before the pandemic, it is well suited to a family that is often together but whose members need their separate spaces. The entire second floor is the owner’s suite. Besides the usual bedroom, bathroom and walk-in closet, there is an office area with two desks and a fireplace. The couple often went there to relax after dinner.
The top floor belonged to the children. It housed their bedrooms and bathrooms and a lounge area with a homework station. The lower level has a nanny suite with its own kitchenette.
The two-car garage was turned into a three-car garage with the addition of a lift. Cars and trash bins are the only things stored in that garage. Everything else — bikes, lawn mowers and what Greg describes as a “very, very luxurious” dog-washing station — is in a separate single-car garage.
The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 9,100-square-foot house, which was completed by Gibson Builders in 2010, is listed at $6.3 million. The monthly homeowners association fees are $420.
Listing agent: Michael Rankin, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty
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