News & Politics

Best of 2004: Best VIP Addresses

McLean, Georgetown, and Potomac may be Washington's toniest neighborhoods, but which streets and subdivisions have the most cachet--and the most VIP residents?

Chain Bridge Road, Virginia's most prestigious address, is home to Robert F. Kennedy's six-acre Hickory Hill compound, which Ethel Kennedy has listed for sale at $25 million. Neighbors include Senator Chuck Robb, ex-AOL mogul Jim Kimsey, and William Conway, cofounder of the Carlyle Group investment firm.

Old Town Alexandria's fashionable southeast quadrant is anchored by South Lee Street, which runs along the crest of a hill leading to the Potomac and boasts water views. Residents include Virginia governor Mark Warner and Wizards exec Susan O'Malley.

Big homes with views of the Potomac are tucked into the woods along McLean's Crest Lane. The neighborhood is home to Washington insiders Dick Darman, Frank Carlucci, and Fred Malek, all of whom have ties to the secretive, wheeling-and-dealing Carlyle Group. Former ambassador Henry Catto, Sam Donaldson, and Knight Ridder heiress Marie Ridder also hang their hats here. One house is on the market for almost $14 million.

The Reserve, a new McLean development of "executive homes"–big Colonials on small lots–draws tech moguls like Steve Case, Kathy Bushkin, and Phil Merrick as well as Danaher CEO Lawrence Culp.

In DC, political and media elites gravitate to Georgetown's N Street, home to Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, columnist Maureen Dowd, conservative-turned-liberal author David Brock, lobbyist and politico Robert Lighthizer, political writers Andrew Cockburn and Margaret Carlson, and White House aide Jim Wilkinson.

Woodland Drive is the main drag in Massachusetts Avenue Heights, DC's land of estates behind gates. BET's Debra Lee, car magnate Mandell Ourisman, Democratic insider James Johnson, playwright Larry L. King, Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and Smithsonian chief Lawrence Small are among the millionaires here.

Country Club Drive sidles up to a fairway at Congressional Country Club in Potomac; the newly built Colonials are valued at $2H million and up. It's home to software millionaire Richard Kay, former Duke and NBA standout Mark Alarie, John Ourisman of the automobile dynasty, and Choice Hotels CEO Charles Ledsinger.

Nearby, the Bradley Farms subdivision–called the Golden Crescent–features showcase mansions on big plots. VIP residents include developer Nathan Landow, tech mogul Raul Fernandez, Comsat exec George Kappaz, and Patton Boggs partner Timothy Vanderver.

Washingtonian staff contributing to this section were Chuck Conconi, Sherri Dalphonse, Susan Davidson, Mary Clare Fleury, Cynthia Hacinli, Thomas Head, Stephanie Jones, Ann Limpert, Drew Lindsay, Chad Lorenz, Leslie Milk, William O'Sullivan, Cindy Rich, and Jeremy Stahl.  Also contributing were writers Cathy Alter, Ann Cochran, and Jenny Sullivan.