Buying this house will get you into the most exclusive club in town, i.e. Ledroit Park. Most neighborhoods are defined by imaginary boundaries drawn by people trying to sell you stuff *coughNorthShawcough* but Ledroit has a distinct look and feel, not to mention a literal antique arched gate announcing the name and founding year (1873!) of the neighborhood. I never become not-amazed that Ledroit was actually the first suburb of DC. The fact that it’s become a well-preserved and still coveted neighborhood is a testament to the planning that went into it. If our suburbs are still around in 150 years, I can’t imagine that, say, Herndon will be used for anything except a prison colony.
This Queen Anne Victorian dates back to 1883, and was one of the first houses built in Ledroit, making it almost as old as the memes my mom emails me. (No joke, she sent me a Charlie Sheen “#winning” meme recently. It may as well have been carved on a stone tablet.) Like many of the houses in Ledroit, it’s fully detached, meaning that you can host punk rock shows in your living room without worrying about the noise bothering your neighbors. (For extra soundproofing, you might consider nailing old mattresses to your interior walls. And yes, I speak from experience.) There’s a huge front porch that’s perfect for a morning coffee and newspaper, a late night cocktail, or if you need to lose weight in a hurry, since in the summer months mosquitoes will drain three pounds of blood from your body every ten minutes you sit out here.
Inside, the house is as charming as a handsome sociopath who works in sales. The rooms are absolutely massive, filled with light, and the antique woodwork you see everywhere shines like my suddenly sweaty forehead when I see my girlfriend admiring another woman’s wedding ring. The living room features an original fireplace, as well as an antique stained glass window that after only a few short months, people on Instagram are going to be muttering about like, “oh man, ANOTHER selfie with the stained glass window?!” The dining room has several oversized windows; keep them well greased and you should be able to quickly fling your Brussels sprouts into the yard when your significant other goes to the kitchen for another bottle of wine.
The kitchen is a stunning oasis of hypermodernity in this vintage home, which might sort of interrupt the overall vibe, but is probably/definitely worth it. I love old things and authentic details as much as the next person who occasionally watches “Antiques Roadshow” while high, but cramped counterspace and hideous cabinetry is as depressing as income projections for a liberal arts degree. This kitchen has sleek all-white cabinetry, marble counters, and stainless steel appliances, but keeps some charming details like the tin ceiling and some original woodwork. There’s also a cozy windowseat, and a downright brilliant horseshoe-shaped booth that literally made me say out loud at the open house, “why isn’t there one of these in every house?!” The huge family room opens onto the back garden, which features winding flagstone paths and many landscaped flowerbeds where you can try and pretend you enjoy gardening for like 30-40 minutes before just going back inside and watching an entire season of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in bed.
Upstairs, the master bedroom suite is spacious and very bright, and the master bath has twin side-by-side basins, a glass-walled shower, and a deep soaking tub. I read an article recently about how in Japan, people deal with winter by taking long, steaming hot baths every day, and I’m determined to do that this winter. This would be a perfect tub for that. At the very top of the house, the attic is a fully-finished bedroom, or would make a fantastic office, far above the bustle of the rest of the house, where you could go “do some work” i.e. take Buzzfeed quizzes to figure out which cast member of “Friends” you are. (“Ross again?! That can’t be right, better take it a fifth time.”) And finally, the lower level is a lavishly-outfitted in-law suite that you could rent out or just keep open in case your significant other ever looks through your phone and finds that thing you’re thinking about at this very moment.
1883 3rd Street NW
6 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy TTR Sotheby’s, 202-333-1212