A riverfront estate with ties to George Washington is for sale for $32.9 million.
“They’ve done some wonderful things with the land there—beautiful gardens,” says the listing agent, Sue Goodhart. “The home has been used as an office for many years and has gorgeous views. It’s ready for somebody to come in and really polish it up to whatever their grand design might be.”
Known as River Farm, the main house has 11,086 square feet and was built in 1924. It’s been under the ownership of the society since 1973. The 27.5 acres of land are on the banks of the Potomac close to Washington, DC, and have quite a history.
“The home was part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and there were many acres,” Goodhart explains. “Originally, this was one of the properties that had tenant farmers on it, so that’s how it was used back in Washington’s day.”
An adjacent 16.5-acre property and home, which were also part of Washington’s original 7,400-acre plot, is also on the market, for $60 million.
“Somebody could buy them both and have about 45 acres on the Potomac, with a home and beautiful views,” Goodhart suggests. “It’s a unique opportunity.”
The home the society currently uses as office and event space has six bedrooms and six bathrooms, with a number of fascinating architectural details, some of which are original to the property.
“I think it’ll require some renovation. There are plenty of bathrooms and bedrooms and spaces, but it has been used as offices,” Goodhart says.
Some work will be required to transform the current office space back into bedrooms.
“There’s not a proper master bathroom, like we would have today,” she says.
She also said the kitchen area is currently configured for offices and event spaces, not to serve as the kitchen for a single-family home.
“Somebody who appreciates older properties could just renovate it, update the kitchen, redo the bedrooms and everything,” she says. “Somebody is going to put a significant sum of money in it. What it would take would depend on the kind of scale somebody would want.”
The home also offers a parlor, dining room, ballroom, and terraces.
The land surrounding the home has been under the care of the society. Before the pandemic, the property hosted tours and events—including weddings.
“There’s a lovely Children’s Garden, and there is a meadowland that that was planted. There used to be an orchard but there are just a few trees left there,” Goodhart explains. “If you walk through, they will give you this wonderful tour of all the plants.”
Goodhart says the society feels that it can support its mission in other ways and that this property requires a lot of maintenance, so it’s the right time to sell it.
“The seller is looking for somebody who is going to keep it intact. They’re not looking for somebody to develop this,” she says.
She says it could have been sold by now to a developer, but that is not the goal of the society’s leadership.
“They’re looking for someone who will appreciate the property either as a family home,” she says. “Or if there were some other organization that would be able to take it over, that would be welcomed also. I think it would be a fabulous residence, particularly for somebody who really has an appreciation for the types of horticulture on the land.”
In addition to the main house, the property also offers a carriage house, a cottage, and two storage garages.
The cottage is currently the groundskeeper’s house and has four bedrooms and one bathroom. The other buildings are currently used as office and storage spaces.
A big carriage house has garage space, with more offices above that, in the current configuration.
The agent notes that this could be a great home office area, or as a guesthouse, a great place to house friends and family.
Besides the structures on the property, the views and access to the DC metro area are key selling points for this property. It’s just minutes from Reagan National Airport and other parts of the city.
“It’s so centrally located, it’s such a beautiful piece of land, and part of the beauty of the land is it’s right on the river. It really is a special property for somebody who would be able to maintain it or renovate the house or maybe build a new home,” Goodhart says—with a caveat.
“I think the [buyer] will appreciate history. Not just someone who’s going to come in with a bulldozer and plow everything down and put up some humongous home, I don’t think is really the right buyer for this. I think it’s somebody that really will be charmed by it, and look for a way to keep the feel of the property intact.”