Takoma Park is known both as a suburb of Washington and an area of the city itself, as greater Takoma Park actually straddles the Washington/Maryland border. Occasionally referred to as "The People's Republic of Takoma Park" due to its citizens' activism and liberalism, the center of Takoma Park has many old homes built in the 1880s and 1890s. I recently attended the 42nd Annual Takoma Park House and Garden Tour, and had the opportunity to visit nine such homes. While from outside the houses all look similarly historic, the interior varied to historic-looking to modern.
The first stop on the tour was the Cady Lee Mansion, which is a National Register Historic Property, and the largest of the area's remaining Victorian homes. With 27 rooms, fifty windows, seven gables, and several fireplaces, it was easy to see how grand the house must have been in its time although the building now contains offices for a non-profit organization.
The feature I loved most on many of the homes were the large front porches. Several houses also had wonderful screened-in back porches that any Washingtonian would be jealous of in the hot summer.
|Who wouldn't like to sip iced tea here?|
|This second story porch had a treehouse vibe to it.|
While it was a tad difficult to take photos given that many other people were enjoying the tour, I did manage to snap a few to share with you.
|Maybe one day I'll own a purple house!|
|Many beautiful fireplaces to be seen.|
|Great decorating ideas, as well.|
|This carriage house is now an apartment, & currently for rent!|
|The carriage house was behind this beauty.|
|The window has become a neighborhood landmark.|
|Naturally, some of the gardens were also quite nice.|
After visiting nine houses, my friend and I were short on energy and skipped the last three homes on the tour, but we did pop into an interesting local store, Trohv. The price points here are rather steep, yet I did find some fantastic greeting cards and also spotted this cool piece of furniture.
By then we were ready for some food and drink, and stopped at the new Busboys & Poets location for some sustenance. Busboys & Poets is a DC institution by now, and it's nice to see them expand. The restaurant also has a small bookstore managed by another DC institutions, Politics & Prose. Combining good food and good book in one place - a genius idea!