“Capitol Hill is a political area, so it’s not unusual for some of the rowhouses to function as entertaining spaces for lobbyists and other organizations, with offices on some floors and living spaces for executives to use when they’re in town,” said Rashid Salem, president of Petra Development. “The streets along Stanton Park are zoned for mixed uses, so buyers can decide if they want to use the buildings for commercial or residential purposes.”
Salem said some of the prospective buyers intended to use the townhouses — known collectively as the Baluster, and priced from $2.995 million to $3.695 million — as a second or third home, a place to stay and to entertain when they are in Washington.
Buying New | The Baluster on Capitol Hill
Built in 1888, the five brownstones are in a historic district, and their exterior appearance must remain essentially unchanged. Inside, the former office spaces have been gutted, and each townhouse has been remodeled, including an open floor plan on the main level.
“Our goal was to marry the old-style moldings and balusters with a chic modern style,” Salem said.
Floating staircase: Outside, each townhouse has as much of the original stone and brick as possible, along with new mahogany front doors that were custom milled to match the original doors.
Inside, Salem said, the toughest challenge was making the 16.5-foot-wide townhouses feel spacious and open. They have nearly identical floor plans, although 418 C St., the model home, comes with a two-level carriage house suitable for office or living space.
Salem gave each townhouse a floating staircase so that light can filter in between the treads. The staircases’ custom-made balusters and newel posts are a nod to the original design of the houses.
The main level has a living room with a box bay window facing Stanton Park at the front of the house and an open dining area and kitchen, with a center island, at the back. This level has 11-foot-high ceilings, custom-milled interior doors, a coat closet and a sliding-glass wall facing the carriage house. The kitchen has “state-of-the-art” Miele appliances, and Salem said Petra included a built-in coffeemaker and a tower wine refrigerator.
The marble center island has a hidden electrical outlet that pops up when pressed. The “smart” appliances are WiFi-enabled for electronic control and monitoring.
The second level has an owner’s bedroom suite at the back of the house. The suite has a wall of imported Italian closets with built-in shelves and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. The suite’s bathroom has a soaking tub and an oversize shower of Italian Statuario marble imported from Tuscany. The shower includes a built-in shelf with LED lighting.
Also on the second level, a washer and dryer are in a closet next to the owner’s suite. At the front of the house, there is space for a second bedroom or an office, with a box bay window and a full bathroom. Near the stairs, there is a powder room for guests.
The third level of the model home is almost exactly the same as the second, including another owner’s suite, but there is a linen closet instead of a laundry closet.
Capitol views: A staircase leads from the third level to the rooftop terrace, which has an automatic roof hatch that is not visible from the street. “We wanted to add roof decks, but it’s an important part of the historic preservation that you can’t see the deck from the street level,” Salem said.
The roof has views of the U.S. Capitol and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, as well as Stanton Park. The flooring is Brazilian mahogany, and there are water, gas and electrical connections for entertaining.
Lower level: The house’s open staircase leads down from the main level to a lower level, a wide-open space that can be configured for any purpose. In addition to a kitchenette with a dishwasher and refrigerator-freezer, this level has a full bathroom, a laundry room, a closet and a box bay window. Buyers can use the space for a family room, an additional bedroom or offices.
“The lower level has a private entrance from the street, which makes it perfect for someone who wants to have an office to meet clients without bringing them through the main living area,” Salem said.
The two-level, 1,100-square-foot carriage house, originally a horse stable, is behind the model townhouse. Each level has a full bathroom and can function as guest quarters or business offices. The carriage house has a wide sliding glass wall that can be used to open up the lower level for entertaining. The upper level has a skylight as well as windows on three sides.
What’s nearby: In addition to Stanton Park, across the street, Union Station, Capitol Hill, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and numerous Capitol Hill offices are within walking distance. La Loma, Café Berlin and Bistro Cacao are a block away, and a little farther away, there are other bars and restaurants, including Union Pub, 201 Bar and The Monocle.
Schools: Watkins and Peabody Elementary, Stuart-Hobson Middle, Eastern High.
Transit: The Baluster is within walking distance of Union Station for Metro Red Line, Marc, VRE and Amtrak service. The area is served by numerous Metrobus routes and the DC Circulator.
418 to 426 C St. NE, Washington
The townhouses are priced from $2.995 million to $3.695 million.
Builder: Petra Development
Features: Each townhouse has wide-plank oak flooring, 11-foot-high ceilings on the main level, custom millwork, sliding-glass rear walls, Binova kitchen cabinets imported from Italy, Waterworks plumbing fixtures, marble showers and marble herringbone-patterned bath floors imported from Italy, Miele kitchen appliances, two laundry rooms, smart home features and a Sonos sound system. Four of the townhouses have two parking spaces each; a fifth has one parking space. Each has a private roof deck.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 5 / 6
Square-footage: About 3,700
Homeowner association fees: N/A
View models: Open by appointment
Contact: McWilliams | Ballard at 202-660-0118 or visit www.balustercapitolhill.com.