Renovated Georgetown home on the market for $12 million

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The Federal-style red-brick house across from Georgetown Presbyterian Church has housed several Washington insiders, a girls’ school, and a fictional character in a movie. And now, after a four-year renovation, it is looking for new owners.

According to the Peabody Room Archives of the DC Public Library Georgetown Branch, the oldest part of the house, at 3122 P St. NW, was built between 1820 and 1821 by Arnold Boone, an inspector of the flour. In the 1880s the house was used as a girls’ school known as the Olney Institute.

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Georgetown House | The Federal-style red-brick house across from Georgetown Presbyterian Church has housed several Washington insiders, a girls’ school, and a fictional character in a movie. It is listed at just under $12 million. (Sean Shanahan)

Richard W. Flournoy, State Department attorney and president of the Dumbarton Club, owned the house in the 1930s. Edwin C. Wilson purchased it in 1958. As Ambassador to Turkey in the late 1930s 1940, he administered $100 million in Cold War aid under the Truman Doctrine.

William and Phyllis Draper took ownership in 1981. He was president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The Drapers sold it to Paul Nitze and his wife, Leezee Porter, in 1997.

Nitze was, at various times, a senior State Department official, Secretary of the Navy, and Undersecretary of Defense. He was one of the main American negotiators in the strategic arms talks with the Soviet Union. The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University was named after him in 1989.

Porter ran a furniture rental company for 30 years.

Nitze and Porter also purchased the neighboring 1887 house, 3124 P St., and combined the two houses. The front of 3124 P St. appeared in the 2005 film “Wedding Crashers” as the home of Jeremy Gray’s character, played by Vince Vaughn.

The current owners purchased the home in 2018 and immediately undertook a full renovation, engaging architect David Jones and Zantzinger Builders.

“The first thing was to get it to flow a little better than it had been,” Jones said. “It was a bit choppy. … Basically, it was opening the house up from room to room, which made it easier to move around the house. It’s something we often do in historic homes.

The biggest change on the first floor has extended the kitchen by taking part of the porch and creating a breakfast room.

“In older Georgetown homes, the main rooms are usually wonderful,” said Richard Zantzinger. “What you change often is what happens after that, and most of that is what happened after the original build. So there have certainly been significant adjustments on the second floor, real changes.

Previously, the second floor had several troublesome level changes, especially where the two houses were joined. Now, the owner’s suite occupies the front part of the house. A large dressing room has fitted wardrobes with washer/dryer and a desk. The bathroom has medicine cabinets hidden behind mirrored panels. The bedroom has a fireplace.

There are two further bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms on this level. The top floor has another bedroom with a private bathroom.

The lower level includes a family room, laundry room, exercise room and a separate apartment with a living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. The apartment has its own outside entrance.

As one of the few detached homes in Georgetown, it enjoys an abundance of natural light. “Every piece has at least two exposures,” Jones said. “Many pieces have three exposures. It’s very unusual in Georgetown.

Despite the many changes, several period details have been preserved, such as the decorative frosted glass transom in the vestibule. Much of the yellow pine flooring is original.

“I think my favorite thing about this house is the customers. They understood the charm of a quirky old Georgetown home and embraced it,” Zantzinger said. “And as a result, we have to save all of that. … They wanted a charming old Georgetown home that retained its historic character, and that’s what they got.

The owners also got the modern conveniences of 21st century living, such as geothermal heating and air conditioning, water and air filtration systems, and a storm water management system.

The house has many features that make it special, but one stands out for Jones.

“For me, the charm of the house is the porch,” he said.

The porch, which wraps around the back of the house, overlooks the gardens and the heated swimming pool. Like the house, the gardens have undergone many renovations. In 1943, Mrs. Hendricks Eustis hired renowned landscape architect Rose Greely to design the gardens. Later, the house had one of 100 gardens in Georgetown designed by landscape architects Oehme, van Sweden. Arentz Landscape Architects is responsible for the recent iteration.

The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 6,400-square-foot home is listed at just under $12 million.

3122-3124 P St. NW, Washington, D.C.

  • Bedrooms/bathrooms: 5/7
  • Approximate area: 6,400
  • Lot size: 0.21 acres
  • Features: The red-brick Federal-style house, which was built between 1820 and 1821, was combined with the neighboring 1887 house. It underwent a four-year comprehensive renovation, led by architect David Jones and Zantzinger Builders. The property has geothermal heating and cooling systems, water and air filtration and a storm water management system. There is a heated swimming pool and parking for two cars.
  • Listing agent: Jean Hanan, Washington Fine Properties

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