Jukka Strand looked for a two-bedroom condo for almost a year. When a sign went up in front of 1721 P St. NW, two blocks east of Dupont Circle, in late spring-early summer last year, his interest was piqued. “I eyed the house for awhile and saw several other places, but once I walked inside this one ticked all the boxes,” he said.
The five-level historic house is built of smooth-textured red brick with a striking circular bay tower that rises from ground level to the greenish-blue slate roof. The tower’s roof is cone-shaped like a witches hat.
The entry hallway has the original mosaic floor, which you can see through the double glass front door.
C. Adam Stifel, owner of Hook Properties, who bought the house from a neighborhood resident, said his vision was to keep historic elements and meld them with contemporary design. It was separated into four units at that time and he retained them. He gutted the inside except for the historical features.
“The house had a lot of history — trim, detailed plaster molding, historic windows — and we did our best to maintain the historic framework and create stylistic and contemporary units within it,” he said.
This mix of historic and modern is precisely what appealed to Strand. “I like the fact that the historic was preserved. The building has an old-fashioned townhouse feel and look on the outside, but once you get in it’s very modern with high-end appliances, finishes and scale,” Strand said.
Strand was the first to move in. “I run into him every Sunday during my open house,” said Kurt Rieschick, vice president with McWilliams Ballard, the company handling promotion and sales. “He’s always very friendly and obviously very happy.”
Private covered deck: The two-floor unit is also sold and is being readied for move-in. On a cold, rainy December morning, a couple workers were painting and adding final touches.
Two units are for sale, residences A and C.
Residence A on the terrace level is below ground but has windows and a narrow stone patio alongside the house with room for a grill, tiny table and chairs.
There’s plenty of living space at 1,565 square feet, several closets and the same finishes, appliances, cabinets, shelving, side-by-side washer/dryer, as the upstairs units. “We didn’t downgrade,” Stifel said.
Residence C on the third level is 1,350 square feet. The kitchen has a large window and gray cabinets. “Everything seems so white these days, I wanted a little bit of a different look,” Stifel said. The water heater is closeted, and pantry shelves can be put up inside.
Each of the four units is distinct, especially in the kitchens. “Mine is all white. It has a sleek Scandinavian look with a more contemporary design than the other units, and this appealed to me,” Strand said.
A gas fireplace with an open flame conveys a historic feel to the living room. When it is on for a little while, the black coal briquettes glow orange-red and give off heat, obvious on a cold day. The surround is Carrara marble.
A round dining table is stage-set in the circular bay front facing the street and offers good morning light to read the paper over a cup of coffee.
Elfa shelving, which can be continually added and adjusted, is installed in closets.
A roughly 200-square-foot covered deck is up three steps and out the back bedroom. “It was here when we bought the building, and we rebuilt it,” Stifel said. It is den-like with low sidewalls that offer privacy yet light. “You can come out here in your boxers in the summertime and won’t feel like everyone in the neighborhood is looking at you,” he said.
What’s nearby: Dupont Circle is a popular destination for locals and tourists seeking restaurants, bars and shops and for walking jaunts along wide sidewalks. The circular park itself, with its towering fountain, is a gathering place akin to Washington Square Park in New York’s Greenwich Village.
Residential architecture is a mix of historic and contemporary. Embassies and think tanks such as the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, American Enterprise Institute and academic outposts such as the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University and Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, line Massachusetts Avenue and are also grand buildings. The Phillips Collection and a string of galleries are across Massachusetts Avenue.
Whole Foods on P Street is walkable with a knapsack or shopping cart.
Schools: Ross Elementary, Shaw Middle @ Garnet-Patterson, Cardozo Education Campus.
Transit: “The beauty of living in this area is being able to walk to just about anything you desire,” Rieschick said. A car is not necessary for day-to-day living. You can rent one for a weekend trip, and you walk everywhere else.
“For me personally, location is very important,” said Strand, who walked to work from his previous home in Logan Circle and now walks from 1721 P St. It is one block to Dupont Circle Metro station on the Red Line. There’s permitted resident parking on some streets and two-hour parking on others.
1721 P St. NW, Washington
There are four condominium units in the building. Two are sold. Two are on the market priced at $899,000 and $1,300,000.
Features: The residences have custom millwork kitchen cabinets, Bosch stainless-steel appliances, front-load washers and dryers and quartz countertops. Hardwood floors run throughout all rooms. Parking is available. Both are move-in ready.
Square footage: 1,350 to 1,565
Condo fees: $159 to $224 per month
View model: Sunday 1 to 3 p.m. and by appointment.
Contact: Kurt Rieschick at 703-535-5550 or www.live1721P.com.