This celebrated townhouse on one of Old Town’s most cherished and coveted streets is an historic
beauty with an intriguing past. Completed in 1780 for General Daniel Roberdeau, a wealthy merchant who used it as his home, this residence was part of a lot he purchased in 1774, then called Water Street.
The first Brigadier General of Pennsylvania Militia, chosen in 1776, Roberdeau at his own expense
operated a lead mine and supplied bullets to the army of Washington. He was also a member of Congress from 1777 to 1779, during which time he signed the Articles of Confederation, and was president of America’s first textile mill, started in 1775. This elegant house became a rental in 1792, then in 1873 reverted to a private home, and was turned into an apartment building in 1924 before returning to single-family status in the 1970s.
Built sturdily of native brick, the 6 bedroom 4.5 bath home occupying 4 stories plus a basement is a testament to its early creator. Now listed in the Historic American Building Survey, it has an enviable position among the finest houses of its era, with exquisite details throughout that include original floors; original staircase with shadow rail; original woodwork, moldings and door casings; a beautiful keystone arch in the front hall; extensive built-in bookcases; hyphen halls with window seats and shelving; cozy reading nooks; plus eight impressive fireplaces.
The west-facing living room with a stunning fireplace is grand, as is the dining room with 12 over 12 original windows, an antique crystal chandelier, and fireplace flanked by two china cupboards. Original detailed molding graces the top of the doorways to both exquisite rooms. The kitchen with dark wood cabinetry, soft close drawers and gas appliances was renovated several years ago.
You’ll also enjoy the comfort of a family room, two libraries, a sewing or craft room, and quiet sleeping quarters, with one of the bedrooms overlooking the Potomac River and Woodrow Wilson Bridge. A rear garden surrounds three sides of the house; plus there’s a convenient potting shed, bicycle shed and off-street parking for two cars.
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