Unique Spaces: Frank Lloyd Wright Goes Green in Kensington

by Jennifer Sergent

Back in 2010, Jennifer Sergent wrote about a five-bedroom, 3,200 square-foot house in Kensington that was inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The home, originally listed for $1.775 million, ultimately ended up selling for $1.499 million in early 2011.

The article (see below) was part of UrbanTurf's Unique Spaces series, where we take a look at properties that could be considered “one-of-a-kind” in the DC area. If you have a home that you think fits the bill, send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). See all of our past Unique Spaces articles here.

Unique Spaces: Frank Lloyd Wright Goes Green in Kensington: Figure 1

Judy Whalley caught the Arts & Crafts bug after college when she was living in a 1930’s bungalow in Oak Park, Illinois – the town Frank Lloyd Wright and his craftsman/prairie style of architecture made famous.

Her career took her to the DC area where she worked as an anti-trust lawyer for the Justice Department, and she and her husband settled in Kensington, where they built their own Arts & Crafts home.

Now retired, Whalley wants to spread the love by building and selling houses in that distinctive style. Her first project (she discovered the land on her walking route in Kensington) just recently hit the market. In the process of building an Oak Park-style house in the DC suburbs, she decided to make the home as energy-efficient as possible.

Unique Spaces: Frank Lloyd Wright Goes Green in Kensington: Figure 2
Living Room

“We were all sort of feeling our way,” Whalley says about going green with the project, in which architect Jim Rill designed the house, Bethesda Bungalows built it, and consultants from Everyday Green advised them on how to keep it all eco-friendly.

The five-bedroom, 3,200 square-foot house has been certified as an EPA Healthy House and awaits a Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. It has passive solar and geo-thermal heating and cooling, low- and no-VOC caulks, sealants and paint, and spray-foam insulation.

The hardwood flooring came from Second Chance architectural salvage in Baltimore where it had been salvaged from demolished homes; the kitchen and bath counters are made from recycled glass; and the ceramic tile throughout the house was hand-made from companies known for good environmental practices like Lewellen Studio in Bellingham, WA. The lighting is from Hubbardton Forge in Vermont, which has won awards for environmental excellence.

Unique Spaces: Frank Lloyd Wright Goes Green in Kensington: Figure 3

Even the walls are green, as they came “panelized,” which means the wood was cut and assembled in a warehouse, under climate-controlled conditions. This process cuts down on waste, since all the leftover wood is recycled for other projects, and the walls have not been subjected to the elements during construction, as they are on a site-built house.

While Whalley was committed to making the house green, her primary objective was always to have the design stay faithful to the Arts & Crafts style.

“It was her desire to create a craftsman/prairie Chicago architectural gem,” Jim Rill explained. “We looked at a lot of bungalow magazines and a lot of craftsman-style homes to come up with the inspiration for this home."

4234 Everett Street, Kensington, MD 20895 (map)

UrbanTurf contributor Jennifer Sergent is the brains behind the DC By Design blog.

See other articles related to: unique spaces, green real estate maryland, bethesda

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/unique_spaces_frank_lloyd_wright_goes_green_in_kensington/2283


  1. SimonF said at 2:30 am on Wednesday July 21, 2010:
  1. Tom A. said at 3:24 pm on Wednesday July 21, 2010:
    REALLY Beautiful. But I question the goal that these real estate developers are "spreading the love." Aren't they in it for the money? Did they find the land and say I'm going to "spread the love" of arts and crafts and green homes by building a giant house on a small lot on the corner of Cedar Lane? If they really want to spread the love, I'd suggest they build and sell homes that aren't more than 3 times the average home price in the zipcode- which is 475k. I'll be much more impressed when I see LEED homes that are under 1 million. When THAT happens, I'll feel the love! 😃
  1. Bean said at 3:31 pm on Wednesday July 21, 2010:
    Gorgeous exterior shot. I would buy it for the wrap-around porch alone.
  1. Pete Barrett said at 8:37 pm on Wednesday July 21, 2010:
    This house is very impressive from the garage and grounds to the interior --- not a single detail escaped Judy Whalley. Located in Chevy Chase View surrounded by very expensive homes, this treasure fits right in. Congratulations!
  1. LaszloB said at 3:27 pm on Thursday July 22, 2010:
    Love it, love it. Could never afford it. How about a wonderful (and more affordable) bungalow!
  1. hmmm said at 3:43 pm on Thursday July 22, 2010:
    I pass by this house daily on my way to work. I've watched the construction from the ground up. It's a nice house, but for almost 2MM--LEED or not--I'd look elsewhere. Don't think I would pay 2MM to be on the corner of well traveled Cedar Lane in Kensington/Chevy Chase View. In addition, I've always thought that the house looks way too big for the size of the lot. I, too, will be more impressed when we get more houses--eco friendly would be a PLUS--in the median home price range for that area.
  1. Brad Beeson said at 6:34 pm on Thursday July 22, 2010:
    A few facts: The lot is 17897 square feet, not including the substantial Right of Ways along the streets. The house and the garage combined cover 19.75% of the lot, significantly less than the 30% that the county allowed when the project was permitted. (to see the site plan, go to http://www.bethesdabungalows.com/4234 Everett Site Plan.pdf) So I'd have to disagree with Tom A. when he says its "a giant house on a small lot". Finally, the median price for the zip code may well be 475K, but on the 4200 block of Everett, Dresden and Franklin, the price is very much in line.
  1. jag said at 7:17 pm on Monday August 27, 2012:
    Very nice!

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way
Real Estate Primer: Northern Virginia

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »