This Georgian house in the Woodland Normanstone neighborhood of Northwest Washington has had a long line of notable owners.
Sep 9, 2022
Woodland Normanstone house on market for $10.9 million
The original owner of the house was Walter F. Chappell, who served in the Navy in World War I and II. In the second war, he was assigned to the office of naval intelligence. For four years, he liaised with British naval intelligence. For his services, he was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire. When he returned to civilian life, he joined the State Department, where he became acting director of the Office of Consular Affairs.
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Frederick S. Wynn bought the house in 1935. He was a vice president of the Southern Railway company. In 1941, Wynn sold the house to Charles D. Drayton, a lawyer and descendant of William Henry Drayton, the first chief justice of South Carolina. Charles Drayton was special counsel to the Association of American Railroads and specialized in interstate commerce law. He also served as president of Children’s Hospital for 10 years.
Henry S. Morgan and Catherine Adams Morgan owned the house from 1941 to 1946. He was co-founder of Morgan Stanley. She was a descendant of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Her father, Charles Frances Adams III, was secretary of the Navy during the Hoover administration.
Alfred and Winifred McCormack purchased the house from the Morgans. Alfred, a lawyer, served as a high-ranking official in military intelligence during World War II. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, he joined the War Department at the request of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. According to his 1956 Washington Post obituary, he was a central figure in reorganizing Army intelligence.
Alfred also arranged for the exchange of information with British Intelligence agencies during the war. In 1944, he was made director of intelligence of the Military Intelligence Service. For his service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and made an officer of the Order of the British Empire. After the war, he returned to private practice, specializing in corporate law and representing clients such as Bethlehem Steel and Ford Motor Co.
William McChesney Martin Jr. and his wife, Cynthia, lived in the house the longest. The Martins took possession of the house in 1947 after he became chairman of the federal Export-Import Bank. Martin, who became the first paid president of the New York Stock Exchange at age 31, spent three years at the Export-Import Bank before becoming an assistant treasury secretary in the Truman administration.
In 1951, Truman was appointed Martin chairman of the Federal Reserve. His 19-year tenure in the job spanned five administrations. Martin is best known for saying the role of the Federal Reserve was “to take away the punch bowl just when the party gets going.” An avid tennis player, he served as president of the National Tennis Hall of Fame and chaired the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Prentis B. Tomlinson Jr., chief executive of Caliber Energy, bought the house in 2005. He sold it to the current owners in 2013.
A gated entry and a steep set of stairs lead to the front of the house. The entrance door opens to a stately foyer with formal living and dining rooms on either side, each with a wood-burning fireplace and 10½-foot ceilings.
On the left side of the house, the kitchen is connected to the dining room by a butler’s pantry. The kitchen has marble countertops, marble backsplash, a walk-in pantry, two dishwashers, a double wall oven and a six-burner gas range. A breakfast room is attached to the kitchen and looks at the backyard. The wood-paneled library has a wood-burning fireplace and built-in shelving and cabinetry.
The owner’s suite takes up most of the left side of the house on the second floor. The bedroom has a sitting area and a wood-burning fireplace. There are two walk-in closets and a bathroom with two vanities, a marble soaking tub and a separate marble shower with a steam feature. Two additional bedrooms with en suite bathrooms are on this level.
The top level has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a family room.
The lower level has a bedroom with en suite bathroom, a temperature-controlled wine cellar with two wine refrigerators and an exercise room. The garage, which can fit two cars end-to-end, is also on this level.
An elevator runs to all four levels.
The backyard has a large flagstone patio for entertaining, a covered porch, a grilling area, a fountain and terraced landscaping. Plantings include hollies, magnolias, crepe myrtles, boxwoods, azaleas, camellias, roses and hydrangeas.
The eight-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 10,100-square-foot house is listed at just under $10.9 million.
2861 Woodland Dr. NW, Washington, DC
- Bedrooms/bathrooms: 8/7
- Approximate square-footage: 10,100
- lot size: 0.3 acre
- Features: The 1929 Georgian house was designed by architect TJD Fuller and built by Davis, Wick & Rosengarten. The house has detailed trim, wainscoting and molding. An elevator runs to all four levels. The lower level has a temperature-controlled wine cellar with two wine refrigerators, an exercise room and an attached two-car garage. The backyard has a large flagstone patio for entertaining, a covered porch, a grilling area, a fountain and terraced landscaping.
- Listing agents: Chuck Holzwarth and Nick Hazelton, Washington Fine Properties