The baronial Tudor at 4801 Blagden Ave. NW is rather like a grande dame that’s seen better days. Still regal but now a little threadbare, it calls for the expert ministrations of “This Old House” or “Rehab Addict.” (“Make me pretty again,” to quote the latter show’s host.) But to a buyer with a coherent design vision and the resources to bring it to life, it is a thing of beauty — the down-at-heels “before” just waiting to be restored to the glorious “happily-ever-after” it deserves to be.
The 1923 mansion is one of three built on what was once the Lansburgh family compound in Crestwood and is located on a large, elevated site at Blagden and Decatur Street. (Fun facts: The brothers Lansburgh — James and Gustav — were prosperous Washington merchants who made their name by supplying the black crepe used for President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Lansburgh Theatre is so named because it was built on the site of their original department store on 7th Street NW.)
Still the biggest and most imposing of the three homes, it offers almost 5,000 square feet of living space on four levels and includes six bedrooms, three full bathrooms and two half-baths, six working wood-burning fireplaces and a two-car garage. It’s on the market for $1,599,000.
From the stone lions at the top of the flagstone steps to the traditional facade with extensive decorative timbering, arched stone entry and oversized multi-paned casement windows, this is a Tudor on steroids.
Inside, ornate molding in a variety of styles and patterns runs riot on the walls, the ceiling and around doors. Nearly all the fireplaces feature marble surrounds and decorative carved stone or wood mantels, some with marble inlays. To the right of the main hall staircase is the formal living room and adjacent Florida room, which are abundantly lit thanks to impressively sized bay windows.
Off the hallway on the left is a formal dining room embellished with a crystal chandelier and large fireplace with a surround of black and gold marble of a kind that, the current owner advised, can no longer be mined.
The dining room opens into a very vintage pantry, complete with a hatch that was used to deliver ice and milk back in the day. The pantry leads into the kitchen with 1960s-era turquoise Formica counters, wood cabinets and appliances. At the far end of the room is a large bay window with a window seat and table. There is also a door to the garage and a back staircase that leads to the two upper and lower levels.
The unfinished basement is where the home’s age and state of disrepair are most evident. It contains seven small rooms, one of which is a root cellar with a dirt floor.
On the second floor are two guest rooms; a hall bath; the master bedroom with a private balcony, dressing room, sitting room and en-suite bath; an office; and a family room. Both the family room and master bedroom have fireplaces, and all of the rooms are arrayed in a circular pattern, leading one into the other without going back into the hallway.
Up on the third floor is a large family room with a pitched ceiling, the sixth fireplace and walls of windows. There are also several large storage closets (one cedar), two bedrooms and another full bath with an old clawfoot tub.
One of Washington’s first purely residential neighborhoods, Crestwood is located on the 16th Street NW corridor just east of Rock Creek Park.
The property is only a block from a Metrobus stop and a little over a mile from the Georgia Avenue-Petworth station on Metro’s Green and Yellow lines.
The former Lansburgh manse at 4801 Blagden Ave. NW is listed for $1,599,000 with Long and Foster Real Estate. For details, contact Marian Huish at 202-210-2346 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For a virtual tour, visit bit.ly/2zgYT9z.