Bristol, R.I. | $765,000
An 1810 Federal-style house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms on an 8,319-square-foot lot
Russell Warren, who came to Bristol in 1800 and became one of the leading architects in southeastern New England, designed this shingled house for his own use. According to the listing agent, more than $275,000 has been spent in the last 15 years to upgrade it, while respecting its historical integrity. The front porch was recently replaced; the roof, with its copper gutters, is a decade old. The original interior woodwork and hardware remain, as do most of the early six-over-six windows.
The property is in a historic district in the heart of town, a half block east of Hope Street, a major corridor, and a block and a half from the harbor. (You can see the water from the front porch.) The route of the Fourth of July Parade, the oldest in the United States, is a half-block away.
Size: 2,349 square feet
Price per square foot: $326
Indoors: The main floor has wide-board floors that are mainly fir, carved millwork, folding interior shutters on most windows, nine-and-a-half-foot ceilings and three working fireplaces. The parlor is connected by a decorative archway to a windowed niche with built-in bookshelves. The dining room includes a fireplace, built-in cabinets and a brass chandelier. The kitchen has cabinets painted to match the salmon-colored trim, and the den is decorated with a landscape mural that continues up the staircase wall. A full bathroom off the dining room has a period slipper tub.
The second-floor ceilings are eight and a half feet high. Among the three bedrooms is one that runs the width of the house, with a fireplace at one end and built-in storage at the other. The two additional bedrooms are connected, and both have fireplaces. The upstairs bathroom has a vintage marble sink, a combined tub and shower and a painted floor pattern.
The unfinished basement walks out to the backyard and contains laundry appliances and a sink.
Outdoor space: The covered wraparound porch descends in back to a bluestone patio; beyond is a fenced lawn. A smaller side porch off the dining room could be used for grilling.
Taxes: $8,392 (2019, based on a tax assessment of $597,900)
Contact: Bridget Torrey, Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty, 401-575-6522; gustavewhite.com
Alexandria, Va. | $780,000
A midcentury-modern house built in 1965, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, on a 0.41-acre lot
Part of the historic Hollin Hills subdivision designed by Charles M. Goodman in a suburb 13 miles south of Washington, this single-level house is on a street (Elba Court) whose name was inspired by a prize bull that belonged to the developer, Robert C. Davenport. It occupies a thoughtfully landscaped corner lot on a cul-de-sac five miles from downtown Alexandria, less than a mile east of the heavily commercial Route 1 and less than two miles west of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Hollin Meadows Swim and Tennis Club, the Hollin Meadows Park and the local elementary school are all within 10 minutes on foot.
Size: 1,520 square feet
Price per square foot: $513
Indoors: Slate paving introduced at the covered front entrance flows into the foyer. Beyond this area is an open-plan space with original parquet flooring and a vaulted ceiling created by the architect’s signature butterfly roof. Also typical of his design are glass walls that contrast with a wall of brick containing a wood-burning fireplace.
The kitchen was updated in 2018 with quartz-topped white Ikea cabinets, stainless steel Bosch appliances, white hexagonal wall tile and gray Porcelanosa floors. A stacked washer and dryer are tucked into a corner.
Each of the three bedrooms has parquet floors and a wall of windows. The two bathrooms have square, off-white tiles and pedestal sinks; the master bathroom includes a glass-enclosed shower.
Outdoor space: The property is lushly planted with bamboo, mature trees and ground cover. A patio off the dining room at the back of the house is partially enclosed by a free-standing screen that is original to the house. Two storage sheds blend in with the building. The driveway has space for two cars.
Contact: Donna L. Williams, Samson Properties, 571-330-1928; donnawilliams.realtor
Davenport, Iowa | $775,000
A 1906 Tudor Revival house with five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms, on a 0.44-acre lot
Built for a department store magnate, this house in the Quad Cities region straddling Iowa and Illinois is described as being exceptionally good for entertaining. The current owner, who bought the property about a decade ago, has regularly held parties with 50 to 60 people there, and said it was not uncommon to see a half-dozen couples dancing in the foyer. It is in a historic neighborhood, set high on a hill near the Mississippi River, less than three hours west of Chicago. Downtown Davenport and the commercial district of East Davenport are both within a half-mile.
Size: 6,715 square feet
Price per square foot: $115
Indoors: That grand foyer has new, custom-milled oak floors with walnut inlay and four sets of pocket doors that are two inches thick. (The doors leading to the living room are oak on one side and mahogany on the other, reflecting the different wood species used in the rooms’ millwork.) An original Tiffany-style glass lamp is attached to the newel post of the winding staircase; a 14-foot Christmas tree can fit in the curve, and leaded glass decorates the windows along the stair wall.
The living room, which is to the left of the front door as one enters, has a mahogany fireplace with a green-tile surround. Leaded glass appears in the cabinet fronts next to the fireplace and in doors leading to an adjacent screened porch. The living room also connects via pocket doors to a sitting room with a brick fireplace and an upholstered window seat.
Turning right from the front door takes you into a dining room with wood trim on the walls and ceiling that evokes the half-timbered detailing of the facade. A narrow shelf protruding from the top of the wainscot wrapping around the room serves as a picture rail.
From the dining room, one passes through a butler’s pantry, with original cabinetry and a copper sink, into a new kitchen. This room was enlarged to make way for a central island. The cabinets were custom made by Amish woodworkers from quarter-sawn oak and topped in granite.
On the second floor, a large landing overlooks the backyard. The original five bedrooms had been collapsed into three. The owner restored a fourth bedroom as master suite. It has a fireplace and access to a deck; the master bathroom includes double sinks set in Amish-built cabinets and a separate room with a stand-alone shower and jetted tub. A second bedroom suite has a fireplace and connects to a bathroom with a glass-enclosed shower and a vessel sink, also reached from the hall.
The recently refinished third floor contains a bedroom (formerly a billiard room) and an office (formerly a sewing room). There is also an entertainment area and a new bathroom with a walk-in shower.
The basement holds a second kitchen that was recently used for large parties or for making pizza in summer without heating up the whole house.
Outdoor space: A long covered porch extends to the side of the house, over a circular walkway. The owner extended a flagstone patio from the kitchen overlooking raised vegetable beds. The corner property has lawns, blue spruces, arborvitae and flowering trees. Parking is in a two-plus-car garage.
Taxes: $10,322 (2019, based on a tax assessment of $460,050)
Contact: Brad Gibson or Sara DeWulf, Mel Foster Company, 563-320-1776; melfosterco.com