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 http://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!