House Snooping: 25 Gordon Place

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Walking through this 1923 Tudor on a quiet, wooded dead end in the Afterglow section feels like walking back in time.

Not because 25 Gordon Place is outdated; it has all the modern amenities you’d expect from a house with an asking price of $995,000. There’s an eat-in kitchen with high-end appliances,  cavernous master suite with sitting area and Jacuzzi tub and shower, large family room with French doors leading to a patio, and a sweeping, level yard that merges into the wooded expanse of the Eagle Rock Reservation. But the current sellers–and every previous owner of this four-bedroom home–clearly took pains to preserve its character in a way that is unusual in these knock-down, gut-to-the-studs times.

The first thing that hits you–and keeps hitting you–is the wood. All the trim and doors in the house, along with the lovely Arts-and-Crafts-style staircase, fireplace mantel, even the radiator covers, are natural, unsullied, never-painted walnut. The casement windows are original too, with walnut molding, wrought-iron grids, and sliding wooden screens. Where some might see old windows, the right buyer will see the architectural beauty in their melding of form and function.

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The rooms are large, adding to an interior feel more Arts and Crafts than Tudor. In keeping with the integrity of the house, the kitchen has kept its modest original footprint, with pietra cardoza (durable slate) counter tops, apron-front farm sink, Sub-Zero refrigerator and red enamel Viking stove. The kitchen connects to a large dining room, which, like the hallways, is partially lit by original sconces that add to the house’s vintage feel. The spacious living room, with fireplace and walnut window seat, flows into an equally large family room off a small patio and the lovely yard.

The master bedroom has space in spades. It runs the length of the house, then adds a master “escape hatch”: Access via spiral staircase to a partially finished attic that has been dormered to full ceiling height. Set up now as a home office, it could be a closet/dressing room (more necessity than option given the closet space in the master bedroom below), work-out space, or all of the above.

Another unusual, but highly coveted feature,  is the home’s three-car attached garage.

A new buyer might want to add a more modern feel in the bathrooms, which were probably last updated in the 1980s, and in the basement, which apparently has never been updated. And if you need a well-chilled house, you might want to consider central air,  since window units would ruin, aesthetically and literally, its beautiful windows.

“Character” can be a dirty word in the real estate business–a euphemism for something run-down and neglected. But true character–good bones and architectural elements, quality materials and conservative upgrades–is about as hard to find in a home these days as it is in Washington.  Buyers who are looking for it will find it at 25 Gordon, with the woods wrapped around it.

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The owners of 25 Gordon, Rob and Chris Gelnaw, are selling their property without the services of a listing broker. However, the property is listed with the Multiple Listing Service and the couple is offering a 3.5% commission to buyers’ brokers. You can e-mail Chris or call her at 201-452-1404.

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Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langanhttps://myveronanj.com
Julia Martin Langan moved to Verona in 1989. A long-time journalist, she has been on the staff of Money, Sports Illustrated, Bride’s and Redbook magazines. Her articles on health and parenting appear in a variety of national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Self and Family Circle. She and her husband Greg have three school-aged children, and are members of Our Lady of the Lake Church. You can reach Julia at [email protected]

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