A real corker: Endless flow for entertaining

ADDRESS: 2035 Hessian Road

ASKING: $629,000

SIZE: 4,000 sq. ft.

YEAR BUILT: 1960

NEIGHBORHOOD: Meadowbrook Hills

CURB APPEAL: 8 out of a possible 10

LISTED BY: Roger Voisinet of RE/MAX Realty Specialists

434-974-1500

In the '60s, before ubiquitous top-10 "dream retirement locale" lists dominated the media, Charlottesville hardly registered on anyone's destination radar. UVA was still a bastion of white males, and much of downtown retained its distinctly small-town feel, with cars still cruising down today's pedestrian-only Main Street business district.

Some things have surely changed, but many remain the same.

Henderson Hayward, a noted architect of the time, had plenty of space to work with in this lot over in Meadowbrook Hills. It must have seemed at the time to be an ideal location– and it almost still is.

Surrounded by 50-foot-tall trees, this lusciously lemon-y painted brick house is an entertainer's dream come true. The walkway up to the entrance expands into a full-blown patio that– nestled between the trees and the house– quiets the din of the ever-present flow of cars on Barracks Road. Wrought-iron scrollwork on the second level of a two-tiered balcony gives the place a New Orleans feel. Damsels in damask could stroll here quite comfortably and feel right at home.

But it's inside that the house seems especially made for parties. Colossal rooms without doors (except to the kitchen and bedrooms) flow from the front door. To the right, a 15 x 30-foot living room has a wood-burning fireplace surrounded by a hand carved English mantel flanked by lighted display shelves. The other three walls have recessed lighting with dimmers, the better to display artwork, a feature throughout downstairs. French doors to the front patio continue the flow-through theme.

Solid teak flooring leads into a library with built-in bookshelves along two walls and three triple-sash windows (another constant). The comfortable room begs for leather armchairs and a solid mahogany desk.

To the left of the front door, a similarly sized dining room leads into the kitchen. Here, the house plan segues sharply into comfort, which will be welcome after all that partying. The sunny, modernized kitchen with attached breakfast nook and bay window adds a little Cleaver touch.

A single-car garage, a wall of closets, and laundry and family rooms all extend from the kitchen. Here the agent couldn't resist plugging in the central vacuum system to demonstrate the wonders of in-wall Hoovering. What a treat!

The master bedroom suite on this floor has a working fireplace topped by a hand carved mahogany mantel. Adjoining this room only, a new bathroom with jetted tub and separate shower rounds out downstairs.

A sweeping staircase covered in fuzzy pink carpeting leads to the second floor with three large bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Here the architect's hand is evident.

Each room opens onto a terrace or balcony through floor-to-ceiling French doors. One can easily imagine lounging up here on a cool summer day watching the breeze flutter gossamer curtains. A cork floor muffles any extraneous sounds that might interrupt the tinkling sounds of a soiree below.

But wait, there's more! In the full finished basement rooms galore fan out in all directions: exercise room and sewing room and 'whatever suits your needs' room. One has the necessary built-ins for a darkroom. An outside door relieves the catacombs feel.

With so much space, it's hard to go wrong. A professional couple that love to entertain could live here as easily as a family of five or more. The real boon, though, is in this house's proximity to dining and shopping. In-shape hosts can get all the groceries they need for a dinner for four (sans wine) on foot.

On their stroll back for the wine, they can wave again at the people still stuck in traffic on Barracks Road.