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Charles Goodman’s house in Hammond Wood for sale

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Charles M. Goodman was at the forefront of bringing contemporary design to the DC area. The celebrated mid-century modern architect is best known for creating the original terminal building for Reagan National Airport and the community of Hollin Hills in Fairfax County, Virginia. in the Washington area, like this 1951 home in the Hammond Wood neighborhood of Silver Spring, Md.

Hammond Wood, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, has 58 Goodman-designed homes built between 1949 and 1951. According to the Maryland Historical Trust website“Hammond Wood conveys Charles Goodman’s innovation in suburban planning in the post-World War II Washington metropolitan area by recounting how pioneering teams of architects/builders redefined the monotonous suburban cultural landscape into starkly naturalistic enclaves. Hammond Wood Wood conveys the best of Goodman’s architectural heritage.

Distinguished Homes for Sale in the DC Area

Silver Spring, Maryland home | A home designed by Charles Goodman in 1951 in the Hammond Wood neighborhood is listed at $829,000. (John Cole Photography)

“Hammond Wood homes have always been really affordable for what they are,” said architect Michael Cook, who knew the home from living in the neighborhood in the early 2000s.

Cook and his partners, Sidney and Derek Kowalczyk, sent a letter to the owners expressing their interest in buying it. Cook had renovated four other Goodman houses in the group surrounding this house and assured owners that he intended to preserve “the soul of the house”, not just fix and flip as some developers do.

The house was not in very good condition when they acquired it. The biggest challenge was that the basement windows were buried in mud, trapping moisture and rotting window frames and support columns.

“We had no idea they were all rotten,” Cook said. “The whole house was falling apart.”

To solve the problem, they raised the structure, inserted new window frames and support columns, attached them to the foundation and added glass.

Another problem was the reconstruction of the retaining wall outside. It now descends three feet underground. The wall, which cost around $20,000 to repair, was painted with a pattern to give it visual interest.

With the mud removed, the lower level is now a bright space with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a family room that opens to a patio with an outdoor fireplace. The main level includes a living-dining room, a kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom.

When designing homes, Goodman always took topography into consideration. The houses are sloped for maximum sun exposure and privacy. The trees have been preserved. The ranking was minimal. In this case, the house is nestled between massive oak trees.

“It’s part of that cluster of seven Goodman houses, all set around a downhill ravine, which really displays the genius of Charles Goodman,” Cook said. “To me, it creates a built environment that really feels like the hills of California.”

The first houses like this are often at risk of being razed. The land is generally more valuable than the house. For most developers, it makes more financial sense to build a new home than to restore an existing one, even one designed by a renowned architect. But Cook has long wanted to demonstrate that homes like this still have value and can work for today’s families. He views his work on these houses as architectural restoration or historical preservation.

Cook has renovated 35 of Goodman’s homes over the years. This is the 12th century modern house he worked on with the intention of selling, and he said it may be the last.

“It just doesn’t make financial sense for us to continue to develop historic neighborhoods like Hammond Wood and [nearby, Goodman-designed] Hammond Hill because the margins just aren’t there,” he said. “We compete with pinball machines and design-build companies looking to make the most money while spending the least.”

Cook will continue to work with clients to transform their mid-century modern homes. He said he was working with 25 clients and had 10 more on hold. But his days as a developer are coming to an end. He hopes someone else will be willing to take on projects like this.

“It is truly unfortunate that we cannot continue to develop in historic neighborhoods like Hammond Wood and Hammond Hill because we are keen to preserve these special homes and historic neighborhoods,” he said. “To make financial sense for us, we [would need to] moving to an area like McLean, but we would like to invest in a diverse community like [Hammond Wood].”

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,863-square-foot home is listed at $829,000.

11705 College View Dr., Silver Spring, Maryland.

  • Bedrooms/bathrooms: 4/2
  • Approximate area: 1,860
  • Lot size: 0.16 acres
  • Features: The home designed by Charles Goodman in 1951 in the Hammond Wood neighborhood has been restored by Cook Architecture and Price Street Construction. The kitchen has Poggenpohl cabinets and Bosch appliances. The terrace has a wood-burning fireplace.
  • Listing agent: Michael ShapiroCompass