No wonder Moskowitz was drawn to the house. Built in 1912 on one of the first streets in Cleveland Park, it is one of the grand old houses in the neighborhood. The home is one of three in Cleveland Park designed by architect B. Stanley Simmons. The DC Architects Directory called Simmons “a prolific designer whose work spanned a wide variety of styles and building types.”
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Simmons, who was from Charles County, Md., graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his time in Washington, Simmons designed a number of buildings that have become historical landmarks. He designed the National Metropolitan Bank at 15th Street NW, the Jewish Community Center at 16th Street NW, the Fairfax Hotel at 2100 Massachusetts Ave. NW and the Barr Building, the first office tower on Farragut Square. He also designed the Wyoming, a registered landmark condominium building on Columbia Road NW.
The Moskowitzes bought the home for $37,000 in 1962 when they moved to Washington from Michigan. Jack took a job on Capitol Hill as a staffer on a Senate Committee on Refugees and Refugees. He later worked at the Pentagon as the deputy assistant secretary of defense, specializing in civil rights and industrial relations. He then worked for Common Cause and United Way of America.
Jack, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit, received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from George Washington University when he was in his 70s. When Jack died in 2020, the Moskowitzes had been married for 72 years.
Faye, who married Jack at age 18 and had a mother at 20, came to Washington without a college degree. At 35, she enrolled at George Washington University. She began her teaching career at the private Edmund Burke School in Washington, where she became the founding director of the middle school. After earning her PhD from GWU, she became a professor at the school, teaching creative writing and Jewish-American literature. Faye was hired at the age of 65 and was Chair of the English Department for 12 years.
Faye’s freelance contributions to The Washington Post led to a stint as a columnist for The New York Times. The first of her five books, A Leak in the Heart, was published in 1985. She died in February at the age of 91.
Her obituary in Washington Jewish Week states: “As the 60-year-old matriarch of the Moskowitz home in Highland Place in the district, Faye hosted numerous meetings and readings. Her campaigning for civil rights, an end to the Vietnam War, and other causes made her one of the most in-demand “hoteliers” of her generation.”
The 3,850-square-foot, seven-bedroom, three-bathroom home was large enough to accommodate not only the Moskowitzes’ four children, but many guests as well.
“My parents always opened their home to everyone,” Korns said. “It was really big, especially during the Vietnam War when people came to protest. … I remember we had people all over our third floor making a big pot of spaghetti for everyone. But over the years, no matter who you were, if you needed a place to stay because you had an internship in DC or a relative was passing through, my parents always opened up their home.”
The spacious, tree-shaded porch and the large front door with transoms and side lights welcome visitors to the house. A marker identifies the home as a contributing structure to the Cleveland Park Historic District.
Many historical features have been preserved inside the house. The music room, to the left of the foyer, has parquet floors, stained glass windows and a floor-to-ceiling mirror surrounded by gilded bas-reliefs, repeated on panels above the indoor fishpond. Korns said it is believed that craftsmen who worked on Washington National Cathedral did the plastering work.
The Moskowitzes hired Washington architect Colden “Coke” Florance to add a skylight and wall of windows to the music room.
A large stone fireplace anchors the living room. The dining room has a coffered ceiling, high wainscoting with wallpapered panels and an antique chandelier and sconces. The breakfast room off the dining room has ornate stained glass windows.
There are four bedrooms and a sleeping terrace on the second floor and three more bedrooms on the top level. On the lower level, the basement is unfinished. A former garage, which offered space for two cars in a row, is attached to the basement and offers additional storage space.
“It was an amazing, amazing place to grow up,” Korns said. “It’s very difficult. It’s very, very emotional” to sell the house.
The house costs almost $2.6 million.
3306 Highland Pl. NW, Washington, DC
- Bedroom bathroom: 7/3
- Approximate square footage: 3,850
- batch size: 0.12 hectares
- features: The 1912 American Foursquare house was designed by architect B. Stanley Simmons. Architect Colden “Coke” Florance renovated the music room. Inside, many period features remain, including hardwood floors, stained glass windows, and a second-story sleeping porch.
- listing agent: Margot Wilson, Washington Fine Properties