1966 ‘Castle House’ in Alexandria, Virginia, on the market for $2 million

When architect Harvey L. Gordon decided it was time to move his family – himself, his wife and their four young children – to Alexandria, Virginia in 1966, he took it upon himself to create what was, for them, the perfect home. Known affectionately as ‘Castle House’, ‘Turret House’ or, less affectionately, ‘Hobbit House’, this Tudor-style home is a fond memory for those who grew up within its stone and brick walls.

“We used to go to the site and get into the piles of dirt while the house was being built,” said Alan, Gordon’s son, who was 10 when the house was built. . “We were told to just play on the construction site. Very good things as a child.

Distinguished Homes for Sale in the DC Area

Castle House | The 5,275 square foot home was designed by prominent commercial architect Harvey L. Gordon in 1966. It is listed at $2 million. (HomeVisit)

These heaps of dirt gave way to a three-story house on a tree-lined street. Alan recalls the exposed wooden beams that were notched with hatchets to achieve a hand-hewn look, the original embossed leather wallpaper and the two-inch solid oak front door that “asked a lot of work” to open up (when friends arrived, he said they enter from the back of the house instead).

The house was designed for a large family, with an intercom system and a laundry chute. It was also built to entertain. Alan joked that because “there were no child labor laws in the 1960s”, he tended to bar at many parties, at which his parents hosted important neighbors, family reunions and Gordon’s business partners.

With his partners, he discussed projects such as the National Institutes of Health’s Children’s Inn, the Rockville Crowne Plaza and the Falls Church Marriott.

Prior to his career as an architect, Gordon served as a Navy pilot in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Born in Washington, he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and Catholic University.

Alan’s daughter, Heather Bishop, remembers visiting her grandparents’ house as a child – catching fireflies in the garden and playing dress-up with her grandmother’s clothes in the now closed attic. His father’s model train collection and a jukebox were in the basement. She recently visited the property to recount these memories to her 4-year-old son, also named Harvey, after his grandfather.

“It was so cool,” Bishop said. “I felt like I was straddling history and the present, all at the same time. I’m in this house, and I remember how it was, but I see what it’s like now. It was simply fascinating, and it’s still so beautiful.

The turreted stone entrance leads into a French manor style entrance hall. On the main level, the renovated kitchen has a heated floor, two wall ovens, a central island, a butler pantry and two breakfast counters. The open concept living room has a cathedral ceiling, a kegerator and a gas fireplace. This level also includes a bedroom and its adjoining bathroom, a large dining room to receive guests and a laundry chute.

Two staircases lead from the main level to a spacious, soundproof basement, which includes a recreation room, a mudroom with laundry room, a wood-burning fireplace and a room that opens to the backyard and is currently used as a living space. exercise.

“That’s where us kids would have our pool table, our ping pong table and all our record players,” Alan said. “We played games and had our parties – it was all downstairs.” He said the basement was soundproofed so the noise wouldn’t bother his dad. “It turned against us once when we were all upstairs at home and got robbed,” he said, laughing at the memory.

The master suite, on the upper level, has a gas fireplace, large closets and a bathroom with heated floor and whirlpool bath. Three other bedrooms overlook a rear living room from a balcony.

The secluded back yard has manicured greenery, a large patio, a bar with stools, a wall-mounted TV, a built-in gas grill, and a hot tub. A circular driveway leads to a spacious, heated two-car garage and a sports court with a three-point basketball line.

The six-bedroom, five-bathroom, 5,275-square-foot home is listed at $1,999,950.

1401 Key Dr., Alexandria, Virginia.

  • Bedrooms/bathrooms: 6/5
  • Approximate area: 5,300
  • Lot size: 0.52 acres
  • Features: · The 1966 Tudor-style home was built by DC area architect Harvey L. Gordon. It is surrounded by mature trees and the kitchen has a heated floor, two wall ovens and two breakfast counters. The basement has a bar and a recreation room. The garage for two cars is attached.
  • Listing agent: Jim Crowe, Compass