George Washington’s original Mount Vernon estate comprised six separate farms, one of which sat high on a promontory along the Potomac. Before his death, Washington deeded that land to his personal secretary, Tobias Lear, and his wife, who was Martha Washington’s niece. That bucolic 16.5-acre estate in Alexandria, Va., dubbed River View, is now for sale for $60 million.
The mansion is not an original structure (a blessing, considering ceiling heights in colonial days), but architect Jim Rill adhered to the Federal style in designing it. The period details within, such as coffered ceilings, wood-inlay flooring and arched doorways and windows, feel rich with history.
A stone-lined driveway provides an impressive approach to the house from the gated entrance, with the reception hall and sweeping staircase conveying the same stately drama.
While it may keep to some historical details, the 16,000-square-foot house has all the modern feels. The stunning and spacious kitchen has two black-stone-topped islands, two sinks, a pot filler and top-of-the-line appliances. As much as you might want to linger there, every room is so inviting it would be hard to choose a favorite. The airy living room is lined with paned windows to look at the lawns and water outside. A cozy billiards room also has views, as well as two TVs and a full bar. The wood-paneled library offers a fireplace and tufted leather sofas to sink into.
The fitness suite includes a large gym (with views, naturally), plus a resistance-current pool, a sauna, steamroom and spa. The 15-seat screening room allows for movie-binging in private comfort. A three-bedroom, three-bathroom guest house is also on property, and the renovated carriage house accommodates four cars, plus an additional apartment.
Nearly all the rooms lead out to patios, and the main terraces are just begging to host large events. The colonial boxwood and rose gardens were recreated using blueprints found with the house. A private dock juts from the 400 feet of shoreline for boating trips. And that shoreline has been reinforced to prevent future erosion.
Thoughtful and progressive systems underpin the entire home. There’s a geothermal heating system, state-of-the-art well-water management and backup generators. Security, utilities and entertainment systems are all controlled with next-level technology.
At that $60 million price tag, the seven-bedroom, 13-bath property is the most expensive residence for sale in Alexandria, Va. It’s listed with Heather Corey of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.