You don’t have to go very far to find artistic expression in Dupont Circle – and we are not just talking about the Phillips Collection or the many other galleries and cultural venues tucked away on side streets throughout the neighborhood.
It resides in the buildings themselves, from the grand mansions to the only-slightly-less-grand row houses, whose array of architectural styles and interiors are themselves works of art.
The imposing neo-Victorian at 2016 Hillyer Place NW has its own story to tell. Developed by Curtis Justin Hillyer (attorney, silver speculator and supporter of women’s suffrage), it was originally offered as a luxury rental property during the ball and social season in Washington (Hillyer’s own residence is now the Cosmos Club).
Built in 1897 and completely renovated in 2005 by architect Gregory Fonseca (among whose projects is the CentroNia Foundation building on Columbia Road), the home offers 3,000 square feet of sleek and serene living space on four levels and includes three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, four gas fireplaces, flagstone and brick patio, and off- street parking. It is on the market for $2.25 million.
A prairie-style wood door with a multi-paned transom, tall windows and delicate balcony railing enliven the otherwise simple gray brick façade. Inside, an entry foyer with oversized gray stone tile floors opens into a living room to the left and a sitting room straight ahead. A series of angular columns, high arched ceilings and walls of glass provide lift, light and drama as you move from room to room.
A feature wall of stone with glass shelves anchors the living room, lit by oversized windows. There is also a hook-up for a gas fireplace. Past the living room and an open steel and glass staircase there is a sitting room furnished with burled wood and glass-shelved custom cabinetry and a fireplace with limestone hearth. It extends and seems to float above the kitchen, family and dining rooms below.
Downstairs on the lower level is an ultramodern, professional-chef’s kitchen where stainless steel and glass take center stage: cabinetry, backsplash, island with a curved counter. There is a suite of appliances including a Gaggenau oven and gas range with griddle, Miele dishwasher, a built-in coffee/espresso maker, and a Sub-Zero refrigerator with double-drawer freezer. Bamboo or maple flooring and mahogany cabinetry throughout the home warm up all the glass and steel.
The kitchen shares its space with a family/dining room with a two-story wall of glass (also visible from the main level) that opens to the private terraced patio hardscaped with waterfalls and stone planting beds.
Down the hall is a half-bath with a round industrial sink, periwinkle wall tiles and Duravit commode. Beyond that is another bedroom with mirrored closets, adjacent kitchenette, laundry room with ASKO washer and dryer and exit to the outside.
Upstairs on the second level is an office with a fireplace and custom-designed cabinetry with a built-in wet bar and workspace. Wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a terrace that overlooks the rear patio. Off the hall, there is a half-bath with a dark wood vanity and limestone tile walls/floor. The hall continues on to the guest room, which boasts a small balcony, massive closets and an en-suite bath featuring a frameless glass shower and shell-shaped vessel sink.
It’s on your way to the third level that you can really take in the artistry of the staircase where vertical stainless wall fixtures stand sentry on the landings and a pitched skylight picks up the same windowpane design seen elsewhere in the house.
The third floor is dedicated to the master suite. To the left is the dressing room, Zen-like in its spare furnishings (custom vanity with vessel sinks, built-in mahogany semi-circular bench), a fireplace, stone floor and another skylight. Pocket doors reveal a walk-in shower with frameless glass doors, granite bench and river rock floors.
The bedroom is set off by a removable gallery wall with a cutout to let in more light and a wall of closets with floor-to-ceiling wood and frosted glass sliding doors.
The Hillyer Place home is located just north of Dupont Circle and a block off Connecticut Avenue. It is within walking distance of the Metro and the shops, restaurants and, of course, art galleries for which the neighborhood is well known.
The three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home at 2016 Hillyer Place NW is listed for $2,250,000 with McEnearney Associates. For details, contact Nora Burke at 202-494-1906 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For a visual tour, visit bitly/2Bk3Hay. An open house will take place Jan. 28 from 2 to 4 p.m.