If the Earl of Grantham and his extended family (upstairs and down) were ever to decamp from Downton Abbey to D.C., the grand manor home at 3101 Chain Bridge Road NW would do very nicely for their new life in our nation’s capital.
Like Highclere Castle, the Crawleys’ ancestral digs, this Georgian mansion in Kent is designed for living and entertaining on a majestic scale – from the rooftop deck and third-story ballroom down to the high-ceilinged, generously proportioned living and dining rooms on the main floor. Just perfect for staging those dramatic formal dinners and memorable holiday celebrations.
But for all its similarities to Downton, the Chain Bridge home stands out in one thoroughly modern respect. Down the hill from the main residence is a one-bedroom guesthouse with walls of French doors that open onto a glorious infinity pool with waterfall – all surrounded by trees and overlooking the rolling landscape of Battery Kemble Park.
A home for the ages – period-faithful and solidly built – 3101 Chain Bridge was actually completed in 2005 after four years of construction. It offers 14,000 square feet of elegant living space on six floors and includes eight bedrooms, nine full- and three half-baths, six working fireplaces, two two-car covered garages, a 1,200 bottle climate-controlled wine cellar and a wood-paneled elevator that provides access to every floor. It is on the market for $8.15 million.
The limestone brick façade is quintessentially Georgian – simple, stately and symmetrical – anchored by a massive wood door framed by columns and multi-paned windows. Inside, a travertine and slate foyer opens into a wide reception hall and high arch-ceilinged gallery that runs in one unbroken line all the way to the back of the house where the main stairway is abundantly lit by tall demi-lune windows on every landing.
Off the hall are a study/library and living room to the left and the dining room, kitchen and family room to the right. Brazilian mahogany flooring and classic molding and millwork run throughout and play up each room’s generous proportions and flow. There are wood-burning fireplaces in the library, living and family rooms; a covered terrace off the living room; and in the dining room there is a camera, cleverly hidden away, to ensure seamless, unobtrusive guest service.
Amid the formal entertaining spaces is the kitchen and family room – the invitingly warm heart of the house. The professional chef’s kitchen features white paneled cabinets, a cherry wood island/breakfast bar with Carrara marble counter, and a concrete floor scored and stained to look like travertine. Top-of-the-line appliances include a 48-inch wide Sub-Zero French door refrigerator/freezer, two Bosch dishwashers, a Viking six-burner gas range, double oven and warming tray, and Amana microwave. There is also a deep soapstone farm sink with nickel fixtures and custom wood-slat jalousie blinds.
Off the kitchen is the family room, which includes an eat-in area, a fireplace and a wall of French doors that open into a screened-in porch. Like the terrace off the living room across the hall, it overlooks the rear garden, pool house and parkland.
Up on the very private second level are five bedrooms (each with en-suite baths and two with private terraces), a breakfast bar, a laundry room and a family room. The master suite also has a fireplace, extensive closet space and connects to a spa bathroom fitted with all the luxury you would expect (radiant-heated marble tile flooring, soaking tub, glass-door steam shower with rainhead showerhead), and a surprising feature you might not: an outdoor shower (with river rock tile) that opens to the trees and the sky beyond.
Above the bedrooms are two spectacular entertaining spaces: a rooftop deck with panoramic views and the third-floor ballroom with hardwood floors, coffered ceiling, dormer windows with window seats, a catering kitchen and media center. There are also two balconies off the back of the ballroom and two powder rooms.
Below the main floor are the two lower levels. The first of these includes a gym with sauna and shower, staff apartment with two bedrooms, a wine cellar and a laundry room. There is also access to the garages (one with entry into a plumbed-in ready-to-build-out catering kitchen). In the second – the sub-basement – there is enough storage space to carve out a safe room.
And about that guest house – in addition to the heated pool, literally a step from the living room, it also boasts two fireplaces (one in the bedroom), a small kitchen and an upstairs bedroom with a balcony, a full bath and priceless views.
Set back from Chain Bridge Road, the gated Georgian is an easy walk to the Palisades, the MacArthur Boulevard corridor and Georgetown, as well as Battery Kemble Park.
The Georgian manor home with eight bedrooms and nine full- and three-half baths at 3031 Chain Bridge Road NW is listed for $8.15 million with Washington Fine Properties. For details, contact Cynthia Howar, 202-297-6000, firstname.lastname@example.org or Connie Carter, 202-491-6171, email@example.com. For a visual tour, visit bit.ly/2sKFYB4.