1962-1963: Sections 1 and 2
Designed as a bi-level plan for uphill lots, the Overlook is a popular model with both Bennett and the public. With a raised living room at tree top level and above the street, the large open spaces upstairs were suitable for entertaining. Large sliding glass doors brought light to the kitchen and dining area, with access to a patio spanning both rooms. The floating stairway led downstairs to more living areas---a recreation room, fourth bedroom and bath---as well as the entryway, laundry, and utility room. A long narrow porch, or recessed area, spanned the entire front of the building, shading the entrance and walkway from the garage. Some homeowners extended the outdoor living area in the front with a patio, as was shown in the model home. The Overlook received the McCall's Magazine Award for the Middle Atlantic area in 1963 and was published in the Oct. 1963 McCall's and in House & Home in Feb.1963. (This award preceded the "Congress for Better Living" certifications, inaugurated in 1954 by McCalls)
The Valleyview is an "uphill" model like the Overlook and also benefits from ground-level access to the first floor and an upper level living room. (Modernists favored raised living rooms, as it moved them above street level. In the case of Carderock, the views were of the tree tops). In back, the kitchen and dining room has direct access to a patio. Bennett believed the lower level should be bright, accessible from the outside and not waste any space. A 19' 4" x 14' recreation room is on the ground level, with outside entrance, making it bright and inviting. This compact plan features two back-to-back bedrooms on each level, and an open connection between the living room and the stair way. A garage was originally optional for the model and, if included, was built separated from the house, but connected visually by a walkway and overhead beams. The Valleyview was chosen by editors of Better Homes and Gardens ' Home Building Ideas 1964 yearbook.
The Clubview is a split-level model with a center hall foyer. One of its visual appeals is the three different roof heights, with the third being the optional garage. The living room, immediately accessible from the distinctive entry-hall foyer, forms a spacious block of public space with the dining room and kitchen. A cathedral ceiling, glazed gable transom and a fireplace, so popular at Potomac Overlook, adds to its drama inside. The lower level, under the bedroom wing, consists of a bedroom, laundry room, utility room, and recreation room. Small, moderate windows assure privacy for the fourth bedroom. The front exterior has a two-foot overhang between the first and second levels of the bedroom wing, varying the surface continuity and softening the modernist edge that was more notable in some other Carderock models.
A new model for both Bennett and KLC was the Hillcrest. The elegant but simple front facade features a glazed transom above the door, giving an enhanced entry hall; a cantilevered balcony created an appealing visual amenity. There was a raised living room and a rear balcony or patio that extended the full width of the kitchen and dining rooms. The entryway is characterized by a central split foyer entry, located halfway between the upper floor and the lower level. The living room borrowed space and light from the stairs hall. This model, designed for a lateral slope, includes 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2 fireplaces, and a lower recreation room. There was also a 1-car garage option for suitable lots. In 1963, the Hillcrest model was certified by the "Congress on Better Living" program sponsored by McCall's. The Hillcrest also received a design award from Practical Builder.
The Woodside, an improved version of the award-wining version at Flint Hill, was the two-level rambler for downhill lots. It has a walk-out lower level with a large expanse of glass so as to view the woods from both the 20' recreation room and the fifth bedroom. The entryway and kitchen are protected by a porch, providing shade in summer. Dining and living rooms share views of woods from an entire wall of windows. There is a large laundry and plenty more storage space in the garage that has direct access to the kitchen. The model has 2 fireplaces.
The Parkridge, stretching 72 feet in width, is the only single-level house built in Carderock Springs designed for the few level sites in sections I and II. It consists of an L-shaped living/dining space, front kitchen, recreation room, and utility room. A long covered porch in the front shades both the kitchen and entry. There was a large patio off the back, accessible from the recreation and 23' living room. This flexible plan has a recreation room and third bath on the main level, offering the flexibility for use as a guest suite. The three bedrooms are clustered at the opposite end of the house.
1963-1966: Sections 3 through 6
The revised Clubview was expanded primarily by adding a fourth level, located under the main living space. Other spaces were reconfigured such as moving the kitchen to the rear of the home, giving it direct access to the patio. Architectural features were also added such as clerestory windows. The graduated roof of the bedroom areas, living areas and garage provided another distinguishing feature of this model in both the original and revised Clubview designs.
The Glenmore is a new downhill model, designed with its entry hall in the middle of the house, and featuring a long simple porch. A side patio extends the dining area to the outdoors, with a screen providing privacy from the road. A large expanse of glass in the living room is open to a cantilevered balcony running the length of the living room and the stairwell. Where the lot allowed a separate garage to the side, the lower level garage space was used for a fifth bedroom. Shielding the side patio from the street is a privacy screen, designed by the landscape architect Thurman Donovan. (Editor's note: ML has copy of Donovan' s plans for privacy screens) In 1964, the Glenmore received from McCall's magazine the "Congress on Better Living" award.
The Pineview is a more a traditional model and deviates somewhat from the low profile of the other models. The main level has a separate dining room, third bath and a study that could also be used as a fifth bedroom. The living room and kitchen are in the rear of the house, open to their own patio. A wing off of the dining room includes a large recreation room, laundry/utility/storage space and optional garage. In later sections Bennett added a basement under the recreation room. The upper level has 4 bedrooms, small study alcove, and a balcony. In 1964, the Pineview received an Award of Merit from the Potomac Valley Chapter of the AIA and was published in Better Homes and Gardens' Home Building Ideas magazine.
Park Overlook Section 1965
The Atrium model was introduced in the Park Overlook section in 1965 with a great deal of media attention. It can be considered a major icon of high modernism with its flat roof and projecting upper floor, seeming to float on a podium. The main floor is anchored by the 11' x 14' open courtyard surrounded by a gallery leading to all rooms. Unique features are the pass-through from kitchen to family room and a 2-way fireplace, separating the dining room and living room. The bedroom wing has a master suite with two additional bedrooms that share a bath, also new to Carderock designs. The lower level has a single-flight stair, a fourth bedroom, another full bath, and a recreation room. The core chimney runs through the upper floor from the dining room and recreation room below. There are three separate spaces for outdoor living---courtyard, a breezeway patio or deck next to the family room, and a 35' balcony off the living & dining rooms. Lap siding on the gallery walls carries the exterior look inside. House and Garden Magazine selected the Atrium model for its "House of Color" in 1965 and it was featured in their September issue.
The text and graphics have been compiled by Mary Lou Shannon, a resident and realtor in Carderock. Measurements are approximate. Copying with permission is not permitted.