The 2013 House Tour At a Glance
The Georgetown House Tour Patrons’ Party will be held at the home of Tom Anderson and Marc Schappell April 24. Tickets can be purchased online at www.GeorgetownHouseTour.com. There is a tea at St. John’s Church parish hall (O and Potomac Streets), 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 27, the day of the tour.
In addition to the tour, the Georgetown House Tour and the Georgetown Office of Doyle New York are hosting a presentation and book signing by New York-based architect Gil Schafer in Blake Hall at St. John’s Church on Thursday, May 9, at 6 p.m. Schafer’s presentation is titled “The Ingredients of a Great House.” Tickets for this event can be purchased on the Georgetown House Tour’s website as well.
Houses Featured on the Georgetown House Tour This year’s varied selection includes nine places but 10 addresses, nearly evenly divided on the west and east sides. In a matter of hours, visitors will take in breath-taking designs and surprises of place and history. (Descriptions provided by the Georgetown House Tour.)
1671 34TH STREET This elegant and spacious multi-level home is featured on the cover of the April issue of Veranda with a 12-page spread inside. The distinguished interior is by the owner, a nationally known designer who has a passion for classic architecture, tempered by a serene, neutral palette. Shots of brightly-colored upholstery, painted furniture and strategically placed canvases of contemporary art contribute to a relaxed, well-lived-in atmosphere that makes the grandeur of the rooms more inviting.
3245 N STREET Bathed in light emanating from strategically placed skylights over the floating staircase and the central glass elevator shaft, the house at 3245 N Street now has a sleek contemporary appearance since its just finished total renovation by Rixey-Rixey Architects of Georgetown. The home’s modern and clean lines have been compared to that of a high-performance race car and the design and furnishings reflect the varied interests of its owners.
1316 AND 1318 33RD STREET “The Stables,” as they are known, began life as a carriage house and stables. In the 1850s, Richard Perry, founder of Georgetown Gas Works and chairman of a local bank, built himself a suitable mansion (the large home at the corner of 33rd and O Streets) plus carriage house, stables and other temporary buildings. In 1923, Perry’s carriage house and stables were converted to residential use. The two houses (each about 1,700 square feet) contain puzzling clues to past residents: religious terra cotta tiles in the walls, stained glass windows and the ghosts of windows and doors on the exterior walls.
1687 34TH STREET The site of 1687 34th Street was once part of the estate of heiress and socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean, famous, amongst other things, for being the last private owner of the Hope Diamond. Mrs. McLean’s primary estate was on the site of what is now McLean Gardens. After she died in 1947, the property was sold to a developer who, in 1950 – 51, constructed custom townhouses on the site that reflected the look of the 19th century “period” homes of Georgetown. Mrs. Lockland Phillips (“Betty”) purchased the house, where she resided for 40 years, during which time the house held an immense collection of 19th and 20th century art, considered to be the finest in Washington.
1601 31ST STREET This baronial-style baroque Victorian mansion on the corner of 31st and Q Streets was built in 1889 for lawyer and developer W. Taylor Birch. In 1885, Birch purchased and subdivided three lots, on which he constructed this home and 1607 31st Street. The architect for 1601 and possibly 1607 was Thomas F. Schneider, who designed many houses in Washington, but is chiefly known for designing the Cairo Hotel near Dupont Circle. The hotel’s height of 12 stories caused a furor among Washington residents and was the impetus of the Height of Buildings Act of 1899 and subsequent acts that limit the height of buildings in Washington to this day.
1552 34TH STREET Built in the early 1930s as part of a WPA project to give work to unemployed architects, 1552 34th Street is one of a row of eight houses that share a common alley at the back. The entry door is recessed from the sidewalk through a walkway. The kitchen and dining room in the front of the house afford a view of Volta Park. Most of the furnishings are family pieces from the South. The owners have a knack for finding things many would overlook and turning them into something practical and intriguing.
2817 N STREET This home was constructed in 1796, but has seen multiple additions throughout its history. It is semi-detached with a guest house adjacent to the main building. Six original wood-burning fireplaces remain in the house. One of the most notable additions was a kitchen and an enlarged dining room, completed in 2000. Both rooms contain banks of windows and doors that offer garden views. The addition was commissioned by then-owner Michael Sullivan and designed by Outerbridge Horsey Associates.
1300 30TH STREET Originally built in 1807 as part of a freestanding house, this three-story Georgian-style brick home is one the earliest substantial houses in Georgetown. It originally included what is now 1302 30th Street, but the property was divided in 1887, when the mansard roofs were added. Both properties are designated as contributing properties to the Georgetown Historic District and are National Landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
3138 P STREET The federal row house at 3138 P Street, with a classic brick front, was originally designed in 1911 by local architect J.W. McIntyre for then owner and builder Elie Fabrie, who moved to Washington after his property was substantially damaged in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.★