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  • $ 710,000 USD
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • Sq Ft: 1,923
  • Lot Sq Ft: 0.05

Early Berla & Abel Modernist Townhouse in Northwest DC

Here’s my latest listing. One of only 27 early modernist townhouses along Arkansas Avenue designed by well-known Washington architects Julian Berla and Joseph Abel, this spacious 2,100+ square foot townhouse retains many of the original features while boasting high-end custom insulated windows and a Zen backyard with carport. It is listed for $725K and I will be holding it open 1-4 on Sunday, May 4. Here is the slideshow. The house is located here.

The heart of the  three-level brick town house is the middle level with its expansive open living-dining space, which retains the original white oak floors, built-in cabinets and display shelf, and brick and stone fireplace.  The vintage George Nelson bubble lamp over the dining room table was originally in Joseph Abel’s own Washington home.

Rare original French doors lead out to the enclosed front balcony, which is perfect for enjoying the mild months by simply opening the custom windows.

The galley kitchen, situated at the rear of the house, opens to the back yard, which provides a nice retreat for a city townhome.

The private Japanese-style yard features slate, rocks and bamboo and rare salvaged aluminum grillwork that originally came from a mid-century printing plant in the city. A modernist-style carport can be used for car parking or as covered outdoor storage. There is plenty of street parking along Arkansas Avenue.

The townhouse, known as one of the Tiffey Townhomes after the family who built them,  includes a top-floor living space of two bedrooms and open office–which can be easily converted back to the third bedroom. The level has two bathrooms, including one in the master suite.

The lower level, or entrance level, has a small foyer area that opens to the large family room with original parquet floors, a second fireplace and excellent closet space for storage. Abundant glass block allows for plenty of light on the ground level. The house is equipped with an alarm system with motion sensors.

This Berla and Abel design was featured in the July 1941 issue of Architectural Forum and mentioned in the much sought after Deborah Dietsch book “Classic Modern.” The red brick townhomes, which the Architectural Forum piece says “blend agreeably with the traditional architecture of the nation’s capital,” have also been featured in the Washington Post.

Tucked just off 16th Street on the edge of Rock Creek Park, the house is conveniently located less than 1 mile from the Georgia Ave-Petworth Metro Station and is 1 mile to the Columbia Heights Metro Station. Several Metrobus options are located just around the corner on 14th or 16th Streets. The house is just 3.5 miles to the White House and Georgetown, 2.4 miles to Dupont Circle and less than 2 miles to the restaurants and shops of 14th and U streets.

Please contact me with any questions on this property. Hope to see you at the open house.

Price:$710,000 USD
Address:4130 Arkansas Ave.
Zip Code:20011
Square Feet:1,923
Lot Square Feet:0.05

Call Modern Capital founder and
Realtor Michael Shapiro at

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