Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine

Real Estate News
by Mary K. Mewborn

The District

Dorcas Hardin’s name has appeared in the Green Book society columns and on for decades. Now it appears on a deed of sale. Her historic Georgetown home at 3028 P Street, NW has been sold for $1.8 million. Dorcas Fletcher Hull Hardin, a.k.a., Mrs. B. Lauriston Hardin, Jr., was widowed in 1966 and for years was proprietor of one of the most prestigious dress shops in Georgetown. She is also the mother of Diana Walker, the famed Time photographer known for being the first photojournalist allowed to document a day in the White House with President Bush (the elder). While Diana has her Portrait Gallery exhibits and a recently published coffee-table book, Dorcas arguably deserves a major motion picture, or at least a television miniseries to chronicle her involvement in the lives and times of some of America’s most privileged and powerful. The home where she raised her children and played hostess to numerous noteworthy guests now belongs to Curtin Winsor, III and his wife Deborah. Curtin is principal of Columbia Partners Investment Management and has served as executive vice president of Starlight Children’s Foundation. He and his father, who is the owner of the American Chemical Services Company and a former ambassador to Costa Rica, are both members of the board of trustees of the William H. Donner Foundation. As the young Winsors prepare to settle into their “new” home, they may be interested to know that in 1900, it was the residence of John H. Yarnall, a descendant of the United States Navy Commodore. Commodore Yarnall trained midshipman in the days before Annapolis was built and was himself a direct descendent of Frances Yarnall, who sailed to the New World in 1683.

Also in Georgetown, 1608 32nd Street, NW is slated to go to closing this month. The sellers are Zachary Sikes and his wife, Tiffany, who are moving to a larger house and yard because of a growing family. The new owners are expected to be Lee Congdon and Katherine Bissell who should be a arriving shortly from Summit, New Jersey, to take possession of the 1937 recently renovated house with three bedrooms upstairs and a one-bedroom efficiency on the lower level. Ted Gossett of Washington Fine Properties is helping orchestrate this $1,450,000 sale.

William H. Dean has purchased the Georgetown estate of the late E. S. Mehlman at 2819 P Street, NW. Although the sale price was almost $3 million, Dean has already undertaken a $238,000 home improvement project to include a swimming pool, terrace and two-story rear addition suitable for use as a separate residence. Dean is president and chairman of OpenBand Multimedia, a wholly owned subsidiary of M. C. Dean, Inc.

The townhouse at 1128 16th Street, NW, next to the National Geographic Society has sold for $3.5 million. The historic building was designed in 1909 by Jules Henri de Sibour and combines stylistic elements from both the Renaissance and Gothic periods. Other buildings designed by Sibour include the National Trust, the Embassy of Spain, the Jefferson Hotel, and the Clubhouse at the Chevy Chase Club. The townhouse was built by William Lipscomb for Mitchell Harrison of Philadelphia and was rented to FDR’s uncle Frederick A. Delano. It later became the home of Montgomery Blair whose illustrious career included stints as secretary of the treasury, secretary of the navy, associate justice of the Supreme Court, U.S. Senator, and Governor of New Hampshire. More recently the building was a George Washington University fraternity house, but it has since undergone renovation to serve as an investment banking facility. The new owners are Nancy and Ralph Taylor, of Taylor Companies. They were represented by Guy d’Amecourt, first vice president in CB Richard Ellis’ Washington, DC office. The seller was Washington Wholesale Marketers. The property was listed by Coldwell Banker’s Bobbie Brewster, who as an architectural historian and recipient of the area’s realtors’ Top Producer Award, has been responsible for the sale of some of Washington’s most exceptional buildings, including numerous residences and embassies in Kalorama. Ms. Brewster has also served at the National Trust and is a frequent lecturer on D.C.’s varied architecture.

In Kalorama, Coldwell Banker realtor Jim Bell had unit 4 CE in the east wing of the St. Nicholas under contract its first day on the market. The two-bedroom, two-bath condo at 2230 California Street, NW has a spacious, open layout complemented by neutral colored walls and hardwood floors. The eat-in kitchen contains custom-built cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Additional selling points include a home office, a fireplace, and an indoor parking space to sweeten the deal. The property went for the list price of $1,095,000 on April 30. The seller was Robert A. Mangrum, a specialist in government contract law with Winston & Strawn, LLP. The new owners are Miles Gerstein and Susan Davis, formerly of Madison, Wisconsin.

Robert Pincus and his wife Roxanne Little have sold their home in Bethesda and are moving into 2411 California Street, one of Washington’s most outstanding homes. The Kalorama Heights residence was built in 1916 and features embassy-size rooms displaying the finest in architectural detail and quality craftsmanship. Solidly constructed and meticulously maintained, the grand home was offered at $3,300,000 by Mrs. William A. Leonard (né Norma Augusta Kaphan). Norma, or “Cappy” as she is known to all, is the widow of William A. Leonard, the CBS News executive credited with selecting Dan Rather as the Evening News anchor. William also helped inspire and create “60 Minutes,” starring her ex-husband Mike Wallace. (Mrs. Leonard was married to Wallace from 1940 until their divorce eight years later.) Mrs. Leonard apparently placed her home on the market with Washington Fine Properties, a Sotheby’s International Affiliate. Coldwell Banker’s Nancy Taylor Bubes represented Little and Pincus. In 1991, Pincus was named “Washingtonian of the Year” by Washingtonian magazine. At the time, he had been in the banking industry for thirty years. Then in 2002, he stepped down as president of BB&T Corporation’s DC/Metro Region because of ongoing pain caused by injuries sustained when he fell forty feet through a grate in Las Vegas in the late nineties. Now Pincus is back, this time as chairman of BB&T. A 1968 graduate of the University of Maryland, he and his wife are loyal supporters of the University and major donors to numerous charitable organizations throughout the nation.


In Potomac, Dr. Andre Michalak, M.D. has sold 9501 River Road to Premakala and Srinivasa I. Prasanna for $2.1 million. The stunning brick and glass contemporary is worth every penny of the price tag. Built in 1992, it has six bedrooms and seven and two-half baths, a spectacular indoor pool and Jacuzzi, solarium, great room, gourmet kitchen, a dramatic dining room with an atrium ceiling, media room and a private in-law suite.

Talk about the landed gentry; social A-listers Susan and Harry Belin now own 9208 Harrington Drive in Potomac, in addition to their 200 year-old Evermay Estate in Georgetown. The white brick Colonial sits on two-plus acres of beautifully landscaped grounds with a pool and tennis court in Bradley Farms, considered to be one of the area’s premier neighborhoods due to its proximity to Potomac Village, Cabin John Regional Park, the C & O Canal, and the Congressional, Burning Tree, and Bethesda country clubs. Highlights of the house, which was built in 1987, include a two-story family room with a massive stone fireplace, six bedrooms, a paneled library, a garden room, a billiard parlor, and a master bedroom suite with a sitting room and his and her master baths. Washington Fine Properties agent Florence Meers listed the estate for $3,995,000 for the sellers, who were reportedly vacationing in The Bahamas when the property went to closing. The Belins were represented in their purchase by Liz Caddell with Coldwell Banker/Pardoe and paid $3,795,000, or $200,000 less than the asking price.


Just two years ago Clinton Portis was majoring in business at the University of Miami. Now at age 22 he has signed an eight-year $50.5 million deal with the Washington Redskins making him the highest-paid running back in league history. On April 30, the football phenom put a portion of his paycheck toward a prime piece of real estate at 7409 Georgetown Pike in McLean. He paid $3,950,000 to Bollywood promoter Vijay Taneja for the three-story, 8,000 square-foot custom Colonial with five bedrooms and an impressive bar and recreation room. Weichert’s Penny Yerks was instrumental in facilitating this sale.

Number 6441 Georgetown Pike also has a new owner. This 6,900 square-foot brick house in the Langley Farms neighborhood of McLean is now home to Joseph Sherman and Sabina McCarthy, a director with Merrill Lynch who used to live in Southern California. The house has a two-story foyer, huge master suite with a separate dressing room, chef’s kitchen, sunroom, an au pair suite and an enormous family room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a fieldstone fireplace. There is also a hot tub on the flagstone terrace adjacent to the family room. The seller, Thomas Moran of Craftmark, received $1,285,000 for the property conveniently located just minutes from both the District and the Tyson Corner-Dulles Airport corridor.

On June 30, the stucco manse at 6455 Kedleston Court in McLean is scheduled to become the property of J. Richard Knop, head of the Reston office of Windsor Group Securities. The sellers are Edward and Helen Okunak, founders of Echo Associates, a leading Northern Virginia IT consulting firm. The property is situated on a quiet cul-de-sac and has been described as “a French country manor.” It features formal gardens, a swimming pool and pool house, a caterer’s kitchen, and a wine cellar/tasting room. It was listed for $3,400,000.

Also in McLean, 1128 Balls Hill Road has changed hands. The buyers are Dr. Martin Malawer, head of the Orthopedic Oncology Unit at Washington Hospital Center, and his wife Jane. The Malawers have reportedly purchased the property for their son Eric who is currently with the Department of State in Kuwait. The house listed for $800,00 but is in need of renovation. Consequently, the Malawers paid $775,000 for the four bedroom house with three and a half baths. Ted Gossett of Washington Fine Properties was their selling agent. The seller was Christian Garcia-Godoy.

In Arlington, Ted Gossett has also succeeded in transferring ownership of yet another Palisades property. This time the lucky new residents are Philip Maiese, a dentist, and his lobbyist wife, Deborah. The Maieses, who also own a home on the water in Annapolis, sold their previous Arlington residence in Woodmont for $950,000 in favor of the $900,000 townhouse at 1563 21st Court. The Maieses’ new abode offers beautiful views of the Potomac and Georgetown. It also boasts a great kitchen, lots of closet space, a two-car garage and vaulted ceilings in the master suite. The sellers were Irina and Mickhal Kouriatichev, a consultant with a Russia-based company.


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