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There Goes the Neighborhood: Wacky Homes
Comments () | Published September 1, 2007

The Green Mushroom

Eddie Garfinkle and wife Fran are used to shooing gawkers away from their quirky home, which is known around Bethesda as the Mushroom House.

“We had no idea we’d stick out like a sore thumb then,” Eddie says of the 1970s redo of their home in environmentally-friendly poly-stucco. “Then” was an era of gas shortages and avant-garde aesthetics. A sculptor, he chose the exterior for its insulating properties and organic form.

“Circus tent” was his vision of the house with its 30-foot ceiling soaring over an indoor pond and garden. But he understands the mushroom name. One neighbor said he loves it now but hated it at first. “It’s a mushroom that grows on you,” Eddie says.

On the Moor

Approaching this Chevy Chase home is like traveling back to the Renaissance and onto the grounds of a castle. Majestic trees and a moatlike lake screen out the modern world from the stone gatehouse, all that remains of a 100-acre estate and 30-room castle built in the 1920s by socialite Daisy Calhoun.

The turreted tower houses a maze of rooms stacked on four stories, all crammed with antiques and reproductions fitting the period. “He can’t stop buying stuff!” Joe Phillips, left, says of his partner, Jan Broulik, who inherited the place from his parents in 2001. The two are adding on, but they remain true to Calhoun’s design and still use the name of the 15th-century stronghold of Calhoun’s husband’s Scottish clan: Rossdhu Castle, Gaelic for “headland dark.”

For photographer David Kidd's takes on the homes he shot for us, click here


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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 09/01/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Articles