Do not judge this 1957 brick house from its exterior


Few suspects that behind the modest front of this brick home there is a spacious and airy interior full of modern touches of the mid-century. The 1957 home is one of the original homes built at Stratford on Potomac, a community along the Potomac River in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County.

The land once belonged to George Washington. He obtained the title in 1760, annexing it to his Mount Vernon estate. River Farm, as it was known, became one of the five Mount Vernon farms. A portion of the original River Farm is now the home of the American Horticultural Society. Washington has never lived or worked the land. Instead, he rented it. Washington later donated River Farm to his secretary, Tobias Lear, as a wedding present.

Edward Sweeney began the development of 69 homes on earth in 1954. After going bankrupt, Emil Keen took over and expanded the community.

The first houses in what was then known as Racebrook on Potomac were built between 1955 and 1957. They were designed by Ryder, Struppman & Neumann, an architectural firm of New York, and built by High Point Construction of Alexandria. This house was the model of Allerton, the most expensive of the six models, which cost $ 35,750.

You would not know how to look at it from the outside, but the house has four levels. Each level is visible when you pass through the door. Two wooden posts flank the entrance. An impressive wooden cathedral ceiling draws the eye upwards. The wood has been coated with a light wash that makes it look rough.

"The ceiling of the cathedral is the most interesting," said Deborah Spunaugle, who lives at home with her husband, Gary, since 1990. The Spunaugles are considered only the second owners. "You absolutely love it [the house]or you are totally allergic to it. "

The courtyard has a paved patio. (Behind Iris / Behind Iris)

A gas fireplace encased in a white painted brick wall warms up the living room. The dining room and the kitchen are just a few steps on the left. Iron railings with an insert that resembles a necklace guarding the dining room and the bedroom level corridor.

Straight forward and down a few steps is the family room, with pecky cypress panels and Saltillo tile floors. French doors open onto a paved patio and onto the enclosed courtyard. The upper level has three bedrooms, including the master suite with a private bathroom.

Although the kitchen has been updated with Silestone quartz countertops and new furniture, many of the original features of the house remain. Skylights flood the kitchen with natural light.

The most significant change that owners have made to the original design was transforming the carport into a three-car garage.

The four-bedroom, three-bath, and 2,140-square-foot home is priced at $ 725,000.

Listing: 8904 Stratford Lane, Alexandria, Va.

Listing agent: Elvira Jakovac, Douglas Realty

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