With Independence Day shortly behind us, what better OTTP to feature than an 18th century abode near our nation's capital? Not only that, but according to the current owner, George Washington may have set foot in it at some point! That guy was everywhere! Set in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, VA, the 1772 Fawcett-Reeder House is one of the oldest surviving homes in this lovely city 6 miles south of D.C.. It's a charming jumble of shapes and textures that only centuries of existence can create, and even in a district of extraordinary homes it makes a strong statement. If you're looking for a new-home-inside-old-walls kind of setting, move on. True old houses aficionados will appreciate the imperfect plaster and dinged moldings, but that's only the beginning of the authenticity factor here.
The current owner has had the home since 1957 and his appreciation for the home's original, well, everything has guided the improvements he's made. In fact, the kitchen addition won an Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects, Washington, D.C. Chapter. It's accented with a cathedral ceiling, walnut floors, a gargantuan fireplace, and a "new" 1894 stove. Access is gained through a set of truly beefy double Dutch doors. While repairing 1820s siding that formerly covered the exterior, he discovered the original 18th century weatherboarding hiding underneath. In its exposed state, the ancient wood gives off an irreplaceable patina. The gorgeous wood floors throughout the home are also period; they required 100 gallons of paint stripper to get them to their current condition. If you really want to discuss original features, how about the solid brick privy that's survived to current day? It was built with not one, not two, but eight "seats!"
The Fawcett-Reeder house commands its corner location with a beautiful walled courtyard, along with something that might be coveted more than any other home feature: a garage. There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms, but it seems like the 19 half baths given in the listing might be a mishap. Call us crazy. Then again, maybe they took into account the privy capacity - who knows? The home sits a scant six blocks from the Potomac River waterfront, in the middle of what's regularly recognized as one of America's most beautiful historic districts. Laid out in 1749, the gridded streets are chock full of boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries and it all comes together to form a walker's paradise. It's the kind of place where you could discover something new on every stroll, and the Fawcett-Reeder House forms the perfect home base from which to do some serious urban exploration.