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Moyaone Reserve Homes for Sale in Prince George's County
In Washington Metro, a region with its fair share of mid-century modern neighborhoods, Moyaone Reserve certainly stands on its own. For one thing, this woodsy Maryland community is located far from the madding crowd, even by suburban standards. Indeed, the homes are tucked deep into forested land abutting the Potomac River, in the northern part of rural Accokeek and inside Piscataway National Park’s easement. Secondly, its beginnings date back long before what is commonly thought of as the mid-century period.
The land itself traces back to a Native American village, circa 1623. But three centuries later, in the 1920s, Henry and Alice Ferguson began buying land alongside the park, starting with 130 acres known as Hard Bargain Farm.
The Fergusons were nature lovers and wanted to create a paradise for friends and family to spend time at. And for years, the weekend and summer retreat was a fabled place for a diverse and lively crowd of Washingtonians, artists, politicians, business people and adventurers—a summer camp of sorts where badminton and volleyball could be played, where canoes were paddled and architectural digs commenced, and of course, cocktail parties.
But the Fergusons were not satisfied with the scope of things, and so they kept buying more land until they owned some 2,800 acres. And what good is all this if it isn’t shared? The couple began selling off land to friends, and those friends began building their own getaway homes.
Alice passed in 1951 and Henry set up a foundation in her name, dedicated to preserving the natural habit and an idyllic place to live and/or vacation. Being that residents and visitors were an interesting and intellectually curious breed of people, homes took on plenty of individual flair, with plenty of modernist influence. Indeed, the splendid architectural time machine has spawned all sorts of living spaces, including flat-roofed cubist cottages, A-frames, large post and beam cabins, rambling compounds and some absolutely stunning glass walled abstract homes.
Moyaone Reserve straddles Prince George’s and Prince Charles County in Maryland, about 20 miles south of Washington, DC. Residents enjoy summer concerts at the Hard Bargain Amphitheatre, an outdoor performing space built in the 1930s. Originally, the Fergusons and friends would put on costumes and hold impromptu performances. Over the years, the efforts became more organized and elaborate. Today, the Hard Bargain Players puts on full-length productions come rain or shine, only postponing in the case of severe storms. The amphitheater also hosts workshops, children’s theater, and acting, writing and directing courses.
There’s also the Wagner Community Center with its swimming pool as well as nature workshops, tennis, water activities along the Potomac and Piscataway Creek, coffeehouses and cafes, poetry, writing and painting classes and groups, and lecture/tours about the most eclectic mix of mid-century modern homes in the region.
Other Mid-Century Modern Neighborhoods in Washington Metro
Architecture in the Washington Metropolitan region tends to favor traditional styles, from historic Victorian and Colonial structures to newer Colonial Revival, Cape Cod, Arts and Crafts and a variety of custom contemporary homes. However, there are also more examples of mid-century modern style than one might suspect!
Hollin Hills is perhaps the best-known example of modernism for the masses. Designed by notable architect Charles M. Goodman and developed by Robert Davenport, this community of some 450 single-family homes in Alexandria’s Hybla Valley offers striking examples of progressive design. Homes here were built between 1949 and 1970, although Goodman’s primary work was complete by the early 1960s. With flat, butterfly and low-pitched roofs, along with huge glass window modules, these iconic dwellings are set into natural terrain that is in of itself, one of the major attractions.
Goodman was responsible for many other homes in DC Metro, from custom-built to modernist subdivisions. These include the Hammond Wood neighborhood located in the Wheaton area of Maryland with 58 homes; the adjacent community of Hammond Hill with 20 dwellings; 74 houses in the Rock Creek Historic District, 90 townhouses in Reston’s Hickory Cluster and the River Park Mutual cooperative townhomes in Washington, DC’s Southwest Waterfront.
Carderock Springs in Bethesda, Maryland is a mid-century contemporary community with around 400 homes in a variety of models. Developed by Edmund Bennett and designed by Francis Donald Lethbridge and David Condon of the firm Keyes, Lethbridge, Condon and Florance, these delightful homes are described in the National Register of Historic Places as a “prime example of situated modernism.”
With some 355 single-family homes, Holmes Run Acres in Falls Church, Virginia is one of the largest and earliest of the mid-century modern subdivisions in Washington Metro. Construction began around 1950 and continued for a decade. The houses with their combination of simple contemporary concepts augmented by post and beam ceilings and massive chimneys, were designed by Lethbridge (see above) and Nicholas Saterleee.
A later example of modernism in the region is the community of Wessynton near Mount Vernon, Virginia, with 156 homes on 65 acres of land that originally belonged to the Washington family. Built from the late 1960s to early 1970s and designed and developed by Nicholas Pappas, the homes by Little Hunting Creek reflect the evolution of progressive architecture into other contemporary forms of the era, such as Rambler and Split-level.
To learn more about mid-century modern homes for sale in the Moyaone Reserve, as well as other parts of Washington Metro, call Andre Perez at District Partners at Compass (202) 798-3600.