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October 16, 2017 Michigan Park

Back on the Market: Modern Masterpiece in Northeast – $1,050,000

I just put this modern masterpiece back on the market for $1,050,000. It is a very special house owned by a couple dedicated to preserving modernist architecture. (See the listing and more photos here.) Designed by prominent local architect Louis Giles, Jr., this stunning International-style home has been completely and meticulously updated by the owners while keeping true to its 1960 modernist design.

The home’s multiple levels cantilever over the primary living space, which features a dramatic 18-foot high ceiling and 18-foot high wall of glass overlooking the main terrace and garden.

The 3,450 square-foot home includes 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a living room, dining room, den, library, home office, laundry room and finished storage room.

The master suite:

A small cooling pool with a “sheer descent” waterfall was added in 2008.

Located in the Michigan Park/Brookland area of Northeast Washington, the home is close to both Catholic and Howard Universites. With a walk score of 72, the home is minutes to Monroe Street Market, Brookland/CUA Metro, the 12th St. restaurant scene and an 8-minute drive to Union Market. The house is a perfect combination of city location with spectacular “outdoor rooms” connected by bluestone  walkways and patios, and defined by two water features, retaining walls, terraces, privacy screens, lighting and significant plantings.

The home was commissioned by William (“Prince”) and Mary Brooks and completed in 1960, according to a history of the house prepared by the sellers. The couple lived in until their deaths in 1999 and 2002, respectively. The Brooks are an accomplished, multi-generational Washington family contributing richly to the armed forces, science, education and the arts. Mr. Brooks was one of six sons; their father was a Tuskegee airman; one brother was formerly married to the daughter of Cab Calloway (a nephew now owns the music rights and directs the Cab Calloway orchestra on national tours); another brother served as the Postmaster General in Philadelphia; and a sister-in-law was one of the first African American scientists in the Federal government.

The architect, Louis Giles, Jr., received his architecture degree from the University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana in the late 1940s. His father, Louis Giles, Sr., had a prominent architectural practice in Washington, D.C., having opened his first office on U Street, NW in the early 1920s. Both architects made significant contributions to the city’s built environment, with commercial and residential projects across the city.

The current owners (only the second) selected products, finishes and materials appropriate for the original design, including anodized aluminum, natural and honed slate, walnut veneer and oak hardwoods. Brushed stainless plumbing fixtures were designed by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen in 1960, the year the house was built. The current owners are looking for the next stewards of this rare and exceptional example of modernist architecture in Washington. (Daylight photos by John Cole.  Night and master bathroom photos by Elizabeth Felicella.)

 

 

 

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