Back in the early 1950s, when he was a student at Virginia Tech, George Ward was instrumental in raising $1,000 to bring famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright to lecture on campus — a feat he counted as one of his crowning achievements. Fast-forward a few years, and he himself was designing houses, including this quirky midcentury-meets-contemporary mashup in Washington, D.C.; and the place just popped up on the market, asking a speck under $2.2 million.
Custom-built in 1961, and known as the A.F. Maxwell House, the well-preserved home underwent an expansion by architect Joan Fabry in the ’80s, which included the seamless addition of a living room. In its current iteration, the boxy structure boasts four bedrooms and an equal number of baths in a little more than 3,300 square feet of split-level living space boasting a mix of hardwood and ceramic floors, high wood-clad ceilings, built-ins and large expanses of glass.
Perched atop a hill overlooking University Terrace — on less than a quarter-acre of land in the city’s Kent neighborhood, just a short 5 miles or so from the White House — the dwelling is marked by an eye-catching exterior consisting of pink and green panels complemented by splashes of brick and glass, plus cantilevered terraces. Inside, the warm and inviting interiors are highlighted by the aforementioned living room with a door leading outside, plus a cozy family room hosting a brick fireplace and built-in bookcase.
An updated kitchen sports bright orange cabinetry, an island holding a custom orange-knobbed BlueStar range topped by a stainless hood and a frosted window that slides open to reveal the adjacent dining room, while the master suite contains a blue-tiled bath adorned with dual vanities and a glass-encased shower. Elsewhere are an office and a bedroom that’s been converted into a fitness space; and outdoors, a wealth of covered terraces allow for al fresco lounging and dining amid the woodsy vistas.