Home for the Logan Circle Holiday

Written by Andrea
November 28, 2010

Photos courtesy of the Logan Circle Community Association

You know you're home for the holidays when the Annual Logan Circle Community Association's Holiday House Tour rolls around. Logan Circle’s 50 square blocks are rich in history, architecture and—yes—cultural events, including this 32-year running tour. Logan Circle brings together a vibrant mixture of residents, galleries, and businesses often host to Greg's List DC-selected culture, fashion, food, and party picks.

Sunday, December 5th is an opportunity to get to know the personal side of the neighborhood, when residents of Logan Circle throw open the doors of a few hand-picked homes that showcase the most splendid that Logan Circle has to offer, all around a specially selected original theme. The showcase, nevertheless, manages every year to include a mix of traditional and modern styles of living, ranging from a sleek two-story contemporary condo to a fully restored Victorian bed and breakfast that once housed a funeral home.

Logan Circle residents, sophisticated socialites, and design devotees will stroll the city sidewalks of the once “up and coming” neighborhood whose time has (again) come to visit the annual array of specially selected holiday house tour homes.  Tour attendees also will enjoy a warming stop at the festive Wassail reception—hosted at the Studio Theatre from 3:30-5pm.  

“The homes on this year’s tour will indulge your senses,” said Kurt Bersani and Dara Duguay, the 2010 House Tour Co-Chairs. “Staying true to this year’s theme, ‘The Art of Living in Logan Circle,’ the tour showcases the sophisticated and unique ways that Logan Circle residents have designed their lives.”  The properties featured this year include:

- A sleek Metropole condo featured on the cover of Home and Design and renovated to showcase the owners’ contemporary art collection, including a custom-made Graham Caldwell hand-blown glass sculpture.

- A local bed and breakfast, circa 1870, believed to be the first licensed African American funeral home in DC. The off the kitchen carriage house includes the site of the original embalming room. The owners have decorated guestrooms with antiques and original work by Erté, a Russian-born painter who defined Art Deco.

- A spectacular 1879 Victorian home with an extensive collection of 17th and 18th century art acquired abroad by the Georgetown University Law Center professor owners during their travels through Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Tibetan monasteries. The house has a 2,000-bottle wine cellar, nine fireplaces, and a marble-tiled porch overlooking a brick courtyard. The wine cellar is large enough to accommodate dinners and has an independent HVAC system that keeps the temperature at a consistent 58 degrees and 70 percent humidity. Its custom-made stained glass windows have medallions with hand-painted images from the owners’ travels.

- An 1885 gem from a diplomat who had a passion for the Middle East and renovated what was a shell into his Arabian fantasy, with black trim and green and lavender accent walls, a graceful wood banister, and ornamented staircase. Furnished with antiques from Paris, Prague, Budapest, Moscow, Bucharest, Shanghai, and Geneva, the home includes a Queen Marie-style chandelier in the entryway, an Art Nouveau mantel designed by the owners, and a turn-of-the-century Hapsburg piano from Vienna.

Several of the 12 homes on this year’s tour also will be showing original Mid-City Artists' works for sale the day of the tour.  The diverse and talented group of professional artists calls the Logan neighborhood home, and evidence the inextricable links of artistry and design within the neighborhood.

Tickets for this Greg's List DC Culture Editor-endorsed tour can be purchased in advance for $20 at the Logan Circle Community Association website (www.LoganCircle.org) or on the day of the tour at the Studio Theatre, 14th and P Streets, NW for only $25, a price the First Gentleman of Culture notes as “a steal,” given the not-for-profit neighborhood endeavors the tour supports.

Your ticket to the self-guided tour and Wassail reception will provide holiday cheer year and Circle-round. Since 1978, the Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) has dedicated proceeds to its community development efforts in the neighborhood, where we all love to play, regardless of where we reside.

Advance tickets for the event also will be sold at the following local establishments beginning about a week before the big day: Azi’s Café (1336 9th Street, NW), Barrel House Liquors (1341 14th Street, NW), Logan Hardware (1416 P Street, NW), 5th Street Ace Hardware (1055 5th Street, NW), and Urban Essentials (1330 U Street).

Don't wait until the 5th to peruse the neighborhood! Logan rapidly renders a transplant a native—and positively in love with the town year-round. Make no mistake—local community, care, and culture are alive and well in Logan and mix fluidly throughout the year at neighborhood businesses, galleries, and homes.

For additional information about the event and tickets see http://www.logancircle.org. Come out and meet your friendly Greg's List DC Culture Editor while you tour the neighborhood!

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