Haven’t you always wanted to live in a former chimney factory? Yeah, me neither. But I warmed to the idea, after looking at these photos. In a weird way, this rectangular brick home actually looks like a big chimney; there must be a real estate corollary to the “pets end up looking like their owners” rule. This awesome multi-winged Georgetown manse actually has a lot of history to it; it used to be three separate houses, until they were combined in 1920. Over the years it’s been home to an advisor to John F. Kennedy, an aide to Eleanor Roosevelt, and a president of the World Bank, among other luminaries. And the D-Day invasion was rumored to have been planned during an all-nighter in the library of this house, which is a great tidbit to have in your pocket if you’re ever trying to impress my dad. (Puns would work too. He loves puns.)
You enter into a beautiful foyer with burnished hardwood floors; since this big house used to be three smaller modest houses, the place is both large and intimate. The windows are normal-sized, and there are none of the yawning overhead spaces you get with cathedral ceilings; this is the coziest $3 million house you’ll ever see. There’s a bright living room that features one of five (yes, five) fireplaces, so stock up on those magic yule logs that produce rainbow-colored flames. Nothing lends your cocktail party a flourish of high irony like a chemical log lighting up the room all red, green and yellow as you lean on the mantle and drink a PBR. Next is the historic library, where I would seriously consider installing some kind of plaque, as much because of the D-Day thing as because I just really like the idea of having a shiny gold plaque in my house. If I lived here, my girlfriend would come downstairs at 3AM at least twice a week to find me humming merrily and spit-shining my plaque with an old rag.
The gourmet kitchen is huge, with acres of counterspace, high end stainless steel appliances, and glass-front cupboards so you can look at all the perfectly fine groceries you should have cooked, as you drunkenly eat a $35 lobster roll you got delivered through Postmates. (What’s wrong with you?) Upstairs, the master bedroom has windows galore and built-in closets, conveniently located at the side of the room so you can hide in there and jump out later when you think your spouse is having an illicit tryst, only to realize they’re just changing the sheets. The master bath has twin basins but, refreshingly, they’re on different walls instead of side-by-side. I’ve always thought side-by-side basins would turn everything into a race, and soon you and your significant other would be snapping floss inbetween your teeth as fast as you could, blood streaming from your gums, angrily glaring at each other in the mirror. Doesn’t sound like the most relaxing thing to do before bedtime.
Outside, there’s an English courtyard, which means it’s a regular courtyard that’s not that charming or good-looking, but gets by on its accent. No but seriously, this is an exemplary courtyard, paved with bricks and with tons of room for entertaining. Since it’s a historic house, you couldn’t dig up the ground and put in a pool, but I’m pretty sure the law doesn’t forbid you from going to the dollar store and buying a half dozen $20 kiddie pools and lining them up back there. Nothing in the world to stop you, except an armed ski-masked group of your neighbors jumping out of your bedroom closet in the middle of the night and whispering in your ear, “get rid of the inflatable Spongebob pools or something might happen to your car’s brakes.”
3303 Volta Place NW
4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy TTR Sotheby’s, 202-333-1212