George Washington felt deeply at home in this sprawling riverside estate.
George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, is said to have proclaimed: “I had rather be on my farm than emperor of the world.”
It is not hard to see why when you visit his family’s former plantation in Mount Vernon, Virginia, ten miles out of Washington DC. Situated on the banks of the beautiful Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia, this natural sanctuary invites quiet contemplation amid the birdsong and uninterrupted river views. Washington’s original mansion is now owned and maintained by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, and is, as per his wishes, open to the public every day of the year.
On a neighbouring parcel of land originally owned by the Washington family, a unique and once-in-a-lifetime property has come to market. River View Estate is a stunning newly-constructed mansion which occupies 16.5 acres of immaculately-sculpted grounds and mature woods, on the farthest-reaching point of the Potomac River, part of the original Washington estate.
“This one-of-a-kind property had the power to calm the mind of America's founding father,” said a representative of Sotheby’s International Realty, the agent selling the property.
It is listed for US$60m, making it reportedly the most expensive home currently for sale in the Greater Washington area. It is being sold by the former CEO of the world’s largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp, Robert Stevens and his wife Michelle.
Designed by Maryland-based architect Jim Rill, and constructed by West Wing Builders, it was built in the American Federal style, a nod to the popular Classicist architecture of Washington’s time.
The seven-bedroom, 13-bathroom home is accessed via a long stone-lined driveway surrounded by gardens with reproduction English colonial boxwood and rose gardens inspired by old blueprints found on the property. A large wood panelled reception room leads to a circular room with exceptional views of both the river and the gardens. Every room of the 16,000 square foot home has a view of the river, and most have direct access to a terrace.
Perfect for hosting large groups of guests, there is a fully reconstituted guest house with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a one-car garage, as well as a completely renovated carriage house with five additional car bays and a studio apartment.
Some of the impressive amenities include a gym overlooking the Potomac with an adjacent spa area with an indoor resistance pool, spa, steam room and sauna. The games room has a bar and pool table and the 15 seater movie theatre allows for entertaining in style.
For water lovers, River View Estate lives up to its name with 400 feet of water frontage including a dock and pier with convenient access to the channel. The channel can accommodate ships with up to 19’ draft.
Unsurprisingly, given its owner, security is peerless. Lockheed Martin secured the estate with access points analyzed and adjusted for maximum security.
River View Estate also lives up to eco credentials, with geothermal heating and cooling systems and extensive well water management program and 150 KW full-property back-up generators.
The entire property is fully integrated with technology that integrates every aspect of the estate, from the power to the security systems, utilities, information, entertainment systems, all controlled by a central bank of computers.
“This is not your typical 'Smart House'; it is a 'Brilliant House'”, said a representative of Sotheby’s International Realty.
If it sells for US$60m it will set a record for the region, which was made last year:US$45m for the McLean estate of the late AOL co-founder, Jim Kimsey, which is also situated on the Potomac River. Meanwhile, Kimsey’s protégé Steve Case, the former AOL CEO, and his wife Jean, sold their mansion Merrywood, also in McLean on the Potomac river for a reported US$43m in 2018 to the Saudi government. A neighbourhood which clearly holds perennial attraction, but still, at that price, it will take some mulling over. As George Washington himself once advised, “decision making, like coffee, needs a cooling process.”