Charles Goodman-designed apartment in River Park

My New Listing: Unit in River Park by Charles Goodman

Here is my latest listing in the Charles Goodman-designed River Park in Southwest DC. It is a renovated 1 bed/1 bath unit in the mid-century modern enclave’s high-rise building in walking distance to Metro. (Photos by Tod Connell.) You can see a quick walk through video here.

The 6th floor, West-facing apartment with tree-top views has an updated kitchen, reglazed bathroom and custom bedroom closet and electronic shades.

The unit has been freshly painted and features modernist FLOR carpeting. The finished balcony area, marked by the Charles Goodman’s unique aluminum decorative panels, provides extra interior space. The coop fee includes utilities, taxes, maintenance and the underlying mortgage.

Walk to Metro
River Park is located just down the block from Waterfront Metro Station, Safeway and Starbucks and minutes from the redeveloped Wharf, booming Navy Yard area, Nationals Park and Audi Field. River Park is a gated community on 11 park-like acres with swimming pool, tot lot and gym. Parking is available.

As part of Southwest Washington’s urban renewal efforts in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Charles Goodman’s firm designed River Park, a cooperative housing project of townhomes and an apartment-style block built by the Reynolds Aluminum Corporation as a way to showcase aluminum as a building material. River Park has been highlighted by the likes of The Washington Post, which in addition to calling it “unmistakable,” wrote that “to live under a barrel roof in Southwest is to live in a building of some historical import.”
The New Read More >

Compass Cares

Market Reflections Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

I hope everyone and their families are healthy and safe during this very frightening and difficult time as we all navigate this global coronavirus health crisis together. As valued clients and subscribers, I want you to know that I continue working with my clients who have current contracts, scheduled closings or who are planning to buy and sell in the coming weeks and months ahead.
While the crisis has quickly upended markets, it is important to take stock of your current needs and plans to determine your best course of action.
During the past week, we still have seen activity with some homes going under contract within days. Obviously, this is a snapshot and can change. Before the outbreak, the market saw extremely low inventory and low interest rates. Prime properties were going within days or not even making it to the open market. In the markets I track, I am still seeing this type of activity.
The government is taking extraordinary measures to bring down borrowing costs, including mortgage rates. While rates are volatile now, experts and economists are expecting the efforts to bring down long-term rates to historic lows.
See this excerpt below from a recent Housing Wire article by Kathleen Howley:

“But for the mortgage market, the [Quantitative Easing] program and the pledge to reinvest [Mortgage backed securities] runoff was the big news because it will increase competition for agency bonds. When demand goes up, yields go down, and that usually translates into lower mortgage rates.
“The Fed is creating liquidity and Read More >

Mid-century modern top producer

Bethesda Magazine: Top Producer Recognition 2020

I am honored to be recognized as a Top Producer by Bethesda Magazine.
“Residential real estate is big business in Montgomery County and Upper Northwest D.C. (ZIP codes 20015 and 20016),” says the magazine in its latest issue. “Last year, 7,388 single-family homes were sold in those areas for a total of $7.9 billion. Not surprisingly, Montgomery County has a large number of real estate agents who live here—8,470 agents, according to the Maryland Real Estate Commission. But not all real estate agents are created equal. A small percentage of the agents sell a large percentage of the homes.”
Thank you to my wonderful clients, family and friends who have supported Modern Capital for the past 14 years. Please reach out if you are thinking of buying or selling a mid-century modern home. Happy to meet and discuss how the market is looking as we face the unprecedented coronavirus.

Hollin Hills Tour Sponsor

Tickets on Sale: Hollin Hills Tour 2020

The 2020 Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour has been postponed. In light of the recent developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic we have made the determination to postpone the 2020 Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour. The welfare and safety of our community and all participants is our primary concern.
We will continue to monitor the situation and work to establish and communicate a new date as the situation resolves. All tickets will be honored on the new date.
 Thank you for your continued support.
It’s almost Tour Time in Hollin Hills. On Saturday, May 2, 2020, the Civic Association of Hollin Hills will host the 2020 Hollin Hills House + Garden Tour. The biennial tour is the largest mid-century modern home and garden tour on the East Coast. This self-guided walking tour will showcase stunning examples of mid-century modern architecture, landscaping and interior design throughout this unique neighborhood listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register of Historic Places. I am proud once again to be a sponsor of the tour. You can buy your tickets here.
The Hollin Hills Historic District is a residential neighborhood set within a 326-acre wooded landscape of Fairfax County, Virginia. Hollin Hills was developed as one of the first post-World War II planned communities in the Washington, D.C. area. It is one of the few consisting entirely of modern architecture using natural topography and landscaping as an Read More >

Goodman Rental

Goodman Rental in Hammond Wood

Check out this opportunity to rent a tricked-out Charles Goodman-designed mid-century modern in Hammond Wood. It is available now through March 31, 2020. Rent is $3,250 per month including utilities and furnished (house and studio) or $2,400 per month unfurnished not including utilities (house only). Email if interested. (Photos by John Cole.)

Live in a secluded 2-bedroom, 1-bath mid-century modern compound for a short term rental. This “cabin like” home is located in North Kensignton/Wheaton in the Hammond Wood neighborhood, a small enclave of Charles Goodman designed homes from 1950, and included in the National Register of Historic Places. The home is close to NIH, Water Reed Naval Hospital and Bethesda (all within several miles).

Situated 5 miles to the DC border, and less than 1 mile from the Metro (Wheaton), this house has been completely renovated by Cook Architecture during the last five years. The house includes a designer kitchen, complete with high end appliances, Poggenpohl cabinetry, open walnut shelves, and silestone countertops.

There are wood floors in the kitchen and radiant heated large stone floors in the living/dining area. The bedrooms have cork flooring, the bathroom is very well appointed with glass doors, nice fixtures, and full walls of tile.

There is a wood burning fireplace and floor to ceiling glass that looks south into the garden and patio area. The home is furnished with Danish, Eames and other mid-century furniture and is currently furnished, has fully equipped kitchen, towels, and linens.

The yard is enclosed with tall fences, mature trees, two Read More >

Farnsworth House

Modern Snapshot: Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House

Radiant floor heat never felt so good. I had finally made the pilgrimage to Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House on the Fox River in Plano, Illinois, 47 miles west of Chicago. It was only November but the Chicago area was hit with winter-like cold and I was not prepared.

As our small tour group walked from the visitor center to the house, we took in the crisp air and view of the river, which has flooded the house several times. As we approached the glass house, the tour guide stopped us and gave his overview of the house, which was finished in 1951 and the subject of bitter lawsuits between Mies and his client, Dr. Edith Farnsworth. Finally, he saw me shivering to death and we finally were allowed to enter the shrine but not before we took off our shoes as we approached the door. With all that glass, you feel as if you are outside even when indoors but the radiant feet on my sock-clad feet was enveloping. Warmed up, I was able to take in the view of the river from inside and appreciate the simple yet complex work by the Bauhaus master. Here are few images to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Spring Lake in Bethesda

Bethesda Modern: Spring Lake Condos

From the low-slung pool house to the decorative breeze block, the Spring Lake condominium community in Bethesda would look right at home in South Florida or Palm Springs.

The community was designed by Robert Calhoun Smith, FAIA. Smith worked with Charles M. Goodman to design Hollin Hills early in his career before striking out to start his own firms. Later in his career, he served as the superintending architect of the Washington National Cathedral. He died in 1992 at the age of 67.

The buildings are three levels. The stairs that go down to the one lower level or up to the two upper levels are accessed via small bridges. The units have balconies to create outdoor spaces in the park-like setting and the facade is made of light brick and white breeze block.

Here is one unit I found that just went under contract.

Get Tix: Bannockburn Home Tour This Saturday

The homeowners of Bannockburn in Bethesda are hosting their first ever home tour this Saturday, October 26 from 12 to 4 pm. Proceeds will go toward preserving the neighborhood’s clubhouse. I am a proud sponsor of the tour and hope you will come out to explore the neighborhood.

Most of the houses selected for the tour are all original Merrimack mid-century modern homes designed by architect Arthur Becker. Although these homes have been remodeled, they have kept true to their mid-century vernacular.  Their visionary owners recognized a gem and hired equally visionary architects and builders to execute beautiful reinterpretations of these original Merrimack homes.
The Bannockburn Merrimack houses were commissioned in early 1950 as the Korean War was looming. The original homeowners agreed to set aside $50,000 in escrow so Merrimack Builders could purchase materials in advance of the war.  These materials were stored in the Bannockburn Clubhouse.  The tour will focus on the second group of homes completed in the fall of 1951. The houses sold for approximately $14,000 when completed.
In addition to the Merrimack houses, a Japanese-style mid-century modern  surrounded by beautiful gardens in Bannockburn Estates will be on the tour.
Registration begins at the Bannockburn Pool parking lot at 11:30 am. Tickets are $25 per person; $20 for Bannockburn Community Club Members. Reserve your tickets at (301) 320-0546 or by emailing

Endangered: Concrete Association Building in Silver Spring

A brutalist building made of concrete designed to promote the use of concrete is facing the wrecking ball. The Silver Spring headquarters of the National Sand & Gravel Association (NSGA) and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) is slated for demolition.
The building was designed by John H. Sullivan Jr. and reflects the art of Washington, DC craftsman John Earley and his studio. In the early twentieth century, John Earley developed unique and innovated ways to work with concrete, exposing its aggregate to reveal deep color and texture. His work is found throughout Washington and Maryland including in the walls, balusters, and fountains at Meridian Hill Park and in the bold mosaic on the Scottish Rite Temple on Sixteenth Street. His studio was hired to produce the NSGA and NRMCA Headquarters precast panels, using their exposed aggregate technique. 

Docomomo DC (I serve as a board member) is urging for the designation of the building as a historic site within the Maryland-Washington Regional District’s master plan for historic preservation and opposes its demolition.

“The building [at 900 Spring St.] is a strong example of brutalist architecture that merges mid-century modern corporate design with regional craftsmanship and building technology,” Docomomo DC says in a letter to Sandra Heller, the chair of the Montgomery County historic preservation program. “These three themes are all cast (excuse the pun) in its concrete form. The NSGA and NRMCA Headquarters is an outstanding example of brutalist architecture in the county and region.”

Charles Goodman on 1+ Acre in Potomac – $810K

This Charles Goodman designed mid-century modern is set on a stunning, private 1.23 acre lot in Hollinridge backing up to Watts Branch Park. It is listed for $810,000. (Photos by Tod Connell.) 
Like Marcel Breuer designs, Goodman carried the slate from the outside into the entrance to connect the outside with the indoors of the house, which is a 4 bed/3 full bath with a total of 2,784 square feet.

The 1962 design includes Goodman’s signature large expanses of glass and distinctive large end-gable chimney with two fireplaces. Updated, period-appropriate kitchen with Kerf cabinets, Modwalls glass-tile backsplash, Quartzite countertops and Kitchen Aid stainless steel appliances, including induction cook top.

Renovated bathrooms, including master with glass enclosed shower, seamless drain, glass penny tiles and Lenix Shower Panel with bodysprays.

Here is the second upstairs bathroom.

The upstairs level features three bedrooms and two bathrooms, including the master suite directly below.

The lower level includes an expansive den/family room with second fireplace and walls of glass, the fourth bedroom/office, third full bathroom and large light-filled laundry/mudroom room. The house has updated electrical.

Goodman, one of the leading residential modernists in Washington, designed the site plan for the neighborhood for a group of developers that included Robert Davenport, who built Hollin Hills.
Charles Goodman designed a number of the homes in Hollinridge, but the developers later sold lots to individual buyers mandating that they build homes in the contemporary style. In addition to several Goodman houses, you can find the work of Thomas Read More >

Call Modern Capital founder and Realtor Michael Shapiro for your mid-century real estate needs.

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