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Historic Landmark Bratenahl House Drops Price to $5.5M

Despite the $500K price chop, this is still the most expensive listing in Cathedral Heights

If you ever wanted a home with history and prominent former residents, you've found your match with this historic landmark, known as the Bratenahl House. The residence is named after George Carl Finch Bratenahl, who served as the Washington National Cathedral Dean from 1915 to 1936.

Bratenahl was born in 1862 in Lake Shore, Ohio and later trained as an accountant in a New York City business firm. While in London on an assignment, he decided to reorient his life and study for confirmation in the Church of England, despite being raised a Presbyterian. After moving to Washington, D.C., he eventually became rector of St. Alban's and became heavily involved in the community, working with the Diocese of Washington to raise money for missions and oversight of groups.

In Frederick Quinn's publication, "A House of Prayer for All People: A History of Washington National Cathedral," he wrote that Bratenahl was a major proponent of the construction of the National Cathedral as well. "He was both dean and, as a chair of the building committee, de facto construction superintendent of the building," wrote Quinn. When it came to the landscaping of the Cathedral grounds, Bratenahl's wife, Florence, was instrumental in the shaping of these plans as well.

In 1918, three years after becoming formally installed as the first elected dean of the Cathedral, he had his residence constructed across the street from the church, using his own funds. Later, in 1945, the Bratenahl family sold the residence to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Walter Lippmann, who later sold the residence back to the Cathedral in 1967. That didn't stop famous faces from gracing the interior of this residence as Senator Eugene J. McCarthy later rented the home from 1967 to 1973. The Cathedral has used the property as a residence for provosts and deans since 1985.

Since April, the Bratenahl House has been up for grabs. Originally, its asking price was $5.995 million, but the home just recently received a $495,000 price chop. Despite the drop in price, it's still the most expensive listing currently on the Cleveland Park market.

Besides the historic background, other details that cause the price of this property to be so high include original hardwood floors, built-ins, and multiple gardens. Despite the listing's old age, its kitchen is updated with stainless steel appliances and an island with a built-in sink. A few historic details like a coal-burning stove in the basement laundry room still remain. The entire property spans 8,937 square feet with six bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms spread across.

• Quinn, Frederick. A House of Prayer for All People: A History of Washington National Cathedral. New York: Morehouse, 2014. Web.

3525 Woodley Road NW [Sotheby's International Realty]