By Sophia Solano for The Washington Post
Published November 3, 2023

Ellen O’Bannon needed to move out of Georgetown in the early 1990s. She was driving her children to and from school, one in Maryland and the other in Virginia, and the afternoon traffic was unbearable.

D.C.’s Wesley Heights neighborhood was a good in-between point, and she bought the house at 3024 44th St. NW in 1993. Purchased primarily for convenience, it’s been her home for more than 30 years. Now it’s on the market for almost $6 million.

O’Bannon began work on the property shortly after moving in. “I thought it was a very pretty house from the outside,” she said. “At the time, it didn’t really have a flat backyard, but I could see how the backyard could be made flat.”

Leveling the yard was one of the first major changes she made to the property. She also took a “bad addition” off the back of the house — a limewashed brick Colonial built in 1926 — renovated the kitchen and upgraded bathrooms.

Seven years ago, she undertook another renovation with the intention of “improving the flow” of the house. O’Bannon added a second doorway into the living room and created a hall that runs the length of the back of the house.

“Originally, the house was really like living on a railroad train,” she said. “You’d start at one end, walk through the dining room, get the front hall to the living room, to the office. I wanted to create a flow so there’s not just one way in and one way out.”

A library that “didn’t really fit modern life,” was turned into a family room, a breakfast room was added and the kitchen was expanded. She also upgraded the electrical system.

“I wanted to keep the feeling of an older house,” O’Bannon said. “I didn’t want to ruin what was originally there. I just wanted to improve on it.”

The family room, previously a library, has built-in shelving. (Nathan Stewart)

O’Bannon said that she’s been working on her perennial garden since she purchased the property and that it’s “only improved with age.” In the spring, she said, climbing roses blossom on the garage, and there is a pergola covered with wisteria. The garden is surrounded by mature trees, offering “total privacy,” she said, and the lot is elevated above street level.

The house, now almost 100 years old, has about 5,900 square feet of interior space across four levels. The entrance on the front porch opens to a foyer flanked by living and dining rooms. On the opposite side of the living room is a hall with a wet bar and a study with built-in shelves. The family room, next to the dining room, has a gas fireplace and more shelves. Beyond the family and dining rooms is the kitchen, which comes with a breakfast room and a butler’s pantry. This level also has a powder room and a coat closet.

The primary bedroom suite has a sitting room with built-in shelves. (Nathan Stewart)

On the second level, the spacious primary bedroom suite with cathedral ceilings has a sitting room, a dressing room, two walk-in closets and an en suite bathroom with separate shower and tub. Another bedroom has its own bathroom and a reach-in closet, and two more bedrooms, each with a walk-in closet, share a hall bathroom. A laundry room is also on this level. On the third level, two bedrooms share a full bathroom.

The lower level has a recreation room, a full bathroom and storage space. The property has a detached two-car garage.

From the first level, several sets of French doors open to terraces, including one with a heated swimming pool. Beyond the terraces is the garden.


Address: 3024 44th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
Beds/Baths: 6 Beds | 6 Baths
Square Footage: 5,600 Sq Ft
Lot Size: ~One-Third Acre
Features: The 1926 Colonial-style house includes a large primary bedroom suite, several rooms with built-in shelving, several rooms with fireplaces, and a kitchen with a breakfast room and a butler’s pantry. The grounds include a perennial garden, a swimming pool and a detached two-car garage.
Listing Agents: Robert HryniewickiAdam RackliffeChristopher Leary, and Micah Smith, HRL Partners at Washington Fine Properties.