The neighborhood of Cleveland Park is well-known for its charming bungalows, Cape Cod-style homes and Victorian residences, but most of the community’s single-family houses are on narrow side streets rather than directly on a main thoroughfare. For years, the sweet bungalow at 3211 Wisconsin Ave. NW rested far back on its lot, dwarfed by the adjacent tall apartment buildings.
“The Queen Anne-style house was built in 1906 and given by the buyer to his sister,” says John Guggenmos, vice president of McWilliams Ballard. “The house was placed on the historic preservation list in 1986, so Adams Investment [the developer] worked with the Historic Review Preservation Board to refurbish it.”
John Holmes, principal of Adams Investment Group, says his company stepped in after years of conflict between the community, the former owner of the house and historic preservationists.
“Not wanting to see the home demolished, the community and owner were at odds over the development,” says Holmes. “We went out to the community and worked with them and the historic preservation office to come up with a plan that satisfied all parties involved. By moving the historic home forward on the lot, closer to Wisconsin Avenue, we were able to add a new modern addition on the rear of the site and attached it to the existing historic structure. The more prominent position allows the home to not be swallowed up by the surrounding apartment buildings.”
Elevator building: The original house now has three condo units, and the new building has five units on three levels with an elevator. The eight-unit condo offers a mix of floor plans, styles, sizes and prices that span the range from $399,900 to $1.45 million.
The penthouse unit, priced at $1.45 million with a condo fee of $975, has 1,550 square feet with a spiral staircase leading up to a rooftop deck with space for a table and chairs where residents can absorb close-up views of Washington National Cathedral and look across the city to the Capitol. The cathedral bells offer an uplifting soundtrack from the rooftop deck and from either of the two narrow balconies off the living area and master bedroom.
“The showpiece of the penthouse is the Calcutta Gold marble island, which fills the center of the open living space,” says Guggenmos. “The marble creates a soft appearance in this contemporary space.”
The island also features two of everything to balance its length: a built-in wine rack at each end, two sinks and two dishwashers for easier cleanup when entertaining. The penthouse is designed for entertaining, with windows on four sides and open and oversize living and dining spaces.
“One unique feature about this building is the elevator, which you don’t always find in a condo of this size,” says Guggenmos. “The elevator opens directly into the penthouse unit, which is also unusual for D.C.”
Smart shower: The penthouse has two bedrooms, each with a full bath. The master bathroom has a deep soaking tub in addition to a glass-enclosed shower. One smart detail in the master shower is that the controls are set on the opposite wall from the rain shower head, making it easier to operate without getting soaked by an initial cold spray.
Unit 302, which has 790 square feet, is priced from $649,900 with a condo fee of $531. This loft unit has an 18-foot-high ceiling in the main level, which consists of a den, a powder room and an open living and dining area with a movable kitchen island. Upstairs is an open loft bedroom with a full bath and walk-in closet.
The 565-square-foot, one-bedroom No. 301, the smallest of the three units in the original house, is priced at $399,900 with a condo fee of $355.
“The focal point for this unit is the lunette-style window that we preserved from the original house,” says Guggenmos. “Some of the people who have seen this unit think it looks like a Parisian apartment because of that window and because of the sloping ceilings and little nooks.”
This unit has extra storage, too, with a coat closet by the front door, as well as a clothes closet and storage closet in the bedroom. The open kitchen, living and dining area has another closet with a washer and dryer. A small hallway has space for a desk and a closet along one wall. The gray-and-white marble bathroom features the lunette window and a sloping ceiling.
Each of the units on the back of the new building has a Juliette balcony with two glass doors and space to stand outside.
Another unit in the historic home, No. 103, uses the original separate entrance. Priced at $669,500 with a condo fee of $509, this more traditional unit has an open living and dining area and kitchen at the front, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms at the back of the unit.
What’s nearby: Within one or two blocks of this condo are numerous restaurants and shops, including the longtime neighborhood favorite, Cactus Cantina, Jettie’s sandwich shop, Café Deluxe, La Piquette and 2 Amys, which frequently makes it onto best restaurant lists. The new Cathedral Commons development has brought more restaurants and shops to the neighborhood, including a Giant grocery store, Barcelona tapas restaurant, Raku restaurant and several fitness options such as Pure Barre and Zengo Cycle. Residents can walk to Washington National Cathedral.
Schools: Eaton Elementary, Hardy Middle, Wilson High.
Transit: The condo is served by numerous Metrobus routes and is approximately one mile from the Tenleytown-American University and Cleveland Park Metro stations, both with Red Line service.
3211 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington
The condos are priced from $399,900 to $1.45 million.
Builder: Adams Investment Group
Features: The units have rustic wide-plank flooring, marble counters in the kitchen and marble flooring in the bathrooms. They also have stainless-steel appliances, including a five-burner gas range and a French door refrigerator, a stacked washer and dryer and ceiling fans. Most units have a balcony and the building has bike storage. The building has three garage parking spaces, two designated for the penthouse, plus an additional two uncovered parking spaces. Most of the units also have access to storage areas in the basement.
Bedrooms/bathrooms: 1 or 2 / 1 or 2
Square footage: Approximately 565 to 1,550
Condo association fees: $355 to $975 per month
View models: Open 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays
Contact: The John Guggenmos Team with McWilliams Ballard at 202-549-2212 or visit www.adamsinvestment.com/properties/3211-wisconsin-avenue .