Not Your Average Colonial

Mid-century modern house in Alexandria, VA

The vast majority of houses Marcie and I list, show, sell, or even talk about, tend to be traditional in form, no matter if they’re two, twenty, or 120 years old. When it comes to residential architecture, much of Washington still seems to be stuck in either Colonial or Victorian times.

In the eighties and nineties, new construction in the suburbs here often had the porches and roof lines of the Victorian era. Over the past decade, Arts and Crafts elements have become popular once more. and throughout the decades, the quintessential Brick Colonial has been recreated millions of times. I wonder if elsewhere in the country, you’ll find this many vinyl-clad homes with brick vernier fronts on them. Proportionally, that is.

Whether the fake facade is a uniquely Washington phenomenon or not, tradition suggests rooted-ness and stability to many home buyers, and that’s what most of our clients are looking for as well. Although that certainly does not apply to all of them–we actually sold several bold mid-century modern contemporaries last year, and all of them to young people who wanted exactly that.

One of those houses, in a leafy Silver Spring neighborhood, was designed by leading MCM architect Charles Goodman.

In Alexandria, Virginia, there’s a whole large enclave of about 400 Goodman-designed homes from 1950s and 1960s: Hollin Hills. Last weekend, I took my daughter on a trip to the annual Hollin Hills house tour, and it was quite a change from the split levels, ramblers and bungalows she usually gets to see. (You can see a continuously updated list of Hollin Hills homes for sale here.))

Don’t get me wrong–we love our bungalows and colonials as well…

(If you are interested in moving to Hollin Hills: presently, there are 7 homes on the market for sale, ranging in price between $659,000 and $1,099,000. You can see a continuously updated list of Hollin Hills offers here.)