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Historic Homes for Sale in the DC Metro Area
There are few places in our country where you’ll find more historic homes for sale than in the Washington Metropolitan area. From DC to Northern Virginia to Maryland, this region is awash in tradition and very old, and very cool, properties. But even so, the inevitable evolution and growing of the DC Metro area present a conundrum—the preservation of something old versus the excitement of forward-thinking modern development.
If you're looking for a home with character, we have it!
From palatial manors to funky Craftsman cottages, and from Art Deco towers to Neo-Gothic row houses, historic homes for sale in DC Metro come in all shapes and sizes. But before getting to the here-and-now, there’s the small matter of a timeline.
The earliest Virginia colonists founded Jamestown in 1607 and gradually spread out. Early land grants spawned the tobacco trade, with the first landowners in what is now Washington DC, arriving around 1662. By 1670 plantations were showing up in Fairfax County. Around the same time, a Scotsman named John Alexander purchased farm and in what would become Alexandria.
And while historic homes for sale in the Washington Metropolitan area don’t date back quite that far, there are still plenty of antique properties. The Melwood Park House in Upper Marlboro, Maryland was built in the Flemish bond brick style in 1710. The Ramsey House in Alexandria dates to 1724 while the Ball-Sellers House in Glencaryln Arlington, was originally built as a one-room log cabin in 1750.
As for Washington, DC, some of the oldest existing homes include a trio of brick Federal mansions in Georgetown—the Prospect House, the Halcyon House and the Forrest-Marbury House, all built between 1787 and 1788. Also worth noting are DC’s oldest known row houses, Wheat Row—four townhomes in the Southwest Waterfront dating to 1794.
While there are a number of brick Federally-inspired structures in Alexandria and DC from the early-to-mid 1800s, residential development kicked into a much higher gear during the post-Civil War era. From grand Colonial manors to an incredible variety of Victorian-inspired row houses, the Washington Metro area became a vast boomtown featuring a golden age of architecture.
In DC alone, a massive wave of row house construction from the 1870s to the early 1900s saw a diversity of style that is still marveled at. Among the many architectural types, are Victorian, Beaux-Arts, Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque, Second Empire and Italianate. Some of the most renowned builders at the time were Henry Wardman (sometimes referred to as “King of the Row Houses”), and James McGill who designed 64 unique row houses in LeDroit Park between 1873 and 1877—no two were alike!
But as prevalent as row houses are, they represent just a portion of the historic homes for sale in the Washington Metropolitan area. Detached single-family structures also come with an amazing variety of sizes, styles, ages and prices. There are giant Georgian estates, stately Colonials, picturesque Victorians, classic Tudors, Dutch Revivals, Arts & Crafts, French Country and so much more.
And of course, don’t forget the trendy Craftsman homes for sale, the most common supplier being the Sears Modern Home Catalog. Between 1908 and 1940, 70,000 to 75,000 kits in 447 different styles were sold, shipped and assembled! And while models ranged from seasonal cottages to deluxe Dutch Colonials, the most recognizable design influences are low-pitched gabled roofs and open porches.
You can find historic homes for sale throughout the Washington Metropolitan area. The largest concentrations can be found in the many officially recognized historic districts, but many others are sprinkled throughout the region. Ready to own a piece of the past? Start your search engine!
To learn more about historic houses, condos and row houses for sale in the Washington DC Metro area, call the experts at District One Partners at Compass, 202-798-3600.