Home & Design

Before: The house had been empty for 20 years following a fire that destroyed about a third of the structure.

Anne Decker’s redesign doubled the square footage with a two-and-a-half-story addition; ew roof lines mimic the original.

Before+After: Build

Anne Decker revives an abandoned Victorian farmhouse in Chevy Chase for a growing family

“We had to sign a waiver before entering, and you could see the sky from inside in places,” recalls architect Anne Decker of the fire-damaged, circa-1889 Queen Anne Victorian she was hired to restore in Chevy Chase’s Somerset neighborhood. “The home is on Maryland’s National Registry of Historic Places and can’t be torn down, so you’d have to be an old-house lover to buy it. Luckily, our clients were.”

Then Now
The house was literally falling down. It had been empty for 20 years following a fire that destroyed its whole rear section—about a third of the structure. David J. Brown Construction restored the existing house, which contains the kids’ bedrooms and a music room.
Measuring only about 24-by-24 feet, the original house was too small for a growing family. Architect Anne Decker’s design more than doubled the square footage with a two-and-a-half-story addition that is virtually hidden from the street. New roof lines mimic the original for continuity.
The existing façade, roof and architectural detailing were too dilapidated to be repaired. The design team replaced original clapboard and added slate roofing on the new and old sections.

Renovation Architecture: Anne Y. Decker, AIA, Anne Decker Architects LLC, Bethesda, Maryland Contractor: David J. Brown Construction Co., Cabin John, Maryland.

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