Final Remaining Penthouse In Historic Wardman Tower Plays Host To Picasso, Annie Leibovitz, Hermès And More

Urban Pace, The Long & Foster Luxury Alliance, along with Doyle, recently hosted a consortium of the region’s elite agents, their ultra-high-net-worth prospects and the area’s most discerning art collectors in Penthouse Four of Wardman Tower

The private event, held on October 27, was the first of its kind in Washington, D.C., and featured works by Picasso, Annie Leibovitz and Fernand Léger. A collection of rare Hermès handbags and vintage Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry were also among the items offered for preview. Kevin Zavian and Reid Dunavant of Antiques Roadshow fame provided private expert appraisals and consultations throughout the evening.

Penthouse Four at Wardman Tower

Guests take in the hors d’ourves at Penthouse Four at Wardman Tower. (Schiavetto Photography)

“We are so excited to be partnering with Doyle Auction House and are thrilled with the outcome of our first event together,” says Clint Mann, President of Urban Pace “You don’t sell homes at these prices by hosting an open house. It’s about strategic partnerships, such as the one we have forged with Doyle. Last week, we welcomed over 130 individuals to Wardman Tower who came to see rare handbags, art and jewelry valued at over $2 million but, by the end of the night, also fell in love with the real estate.”

In a time when the world is much more judicious about gathering, Urban Pace, Long & Foster, and Doyle sought meticulously to design an event that was special and engaging for their respective client bases. The presence of several of the region’s top agents coupled with one of Washington, D.C.’s most magnificent listings created a magnetic and exciting synergy for Doyle and its clients.

The ability to entertain at home is arguably more valuable than ever. Penthouse Four at Wardman Tower, designed by interior architect Deborah Berke and staged by celebrity designer Meridith Baer, is built to be especially conducive to hosting events from intimate to grand.

Kevin Zavian

Kevin Zavian, pictured, and Reid Dunavant of “Antiques Roadshow” fame provided
private expert appraisals and consultations throughout the evening. (Schiavetto Photography)

“As you know in real estate, rarely do you have the opportunity to see a residence come to life, especially when you envision entertaining a large group of guests. With the recent event in Penthouse Four with Doyle, guests were able to experience how one would successfully host over 130 guests in the residence,” reflects Jennifer Felix, Sales Director of Wardman Tower. She elaborates on how the specifics of the layout worked so well for the event, “The penthouse offers two foyers, one for welcoming and the second area for hosting. The second foyer served as a gathering point in between the kitchen, formal dining room, family room, living room and library with an ease of elegance with a seamless flow into the heart of the home.”

Annie Leibovitz’s Blues Brothers greeted guests in the front foyer. Art was strategically placed throughout the residence to guide guests to various focal points. The secondary foyer hosted one of the main vignettes: a colorful assortment of rare Hermès handbags, including a Kelly 25 in Flamingo, a Birkin 35 in Graphite Crocodile and a Kelly 32 in Lime.

The home’s den (or potential third bedroom) transformed into a boutique gallery that housed Doyle’s jewelry and watch cases, an etagere of Chanel, Valentino, Giambattista Valli handbags and an original Picasso ceramic pitcher. Its east-west panoramic light beautifully illuminated glittering pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels, Bvlgari and Cartier, allowing a buyer to easily imagine the same magic hour light being part of their own evening wind-down routine at home.

Hermes Handbags

The secondary foyer hosted one of the main vignettes: a colorful assortment of rare Hermès handbags. (Schiavetto Photography)

The library offered a quiet respite from the buzz of socializing. There, guests enjoyed private appraisals and consultations by Zavian and Dunavant as the evening’s highest-valued piece, Léger’s Mère et Enfant hung stately on the east wall.

The living and dining areas, along with the spacious eat-in kitchen, were the hub of activity. Heavy hors d’oeuvres were passed and plated on the dining table for ten as bartenders stationed at the ample kitchen island served signature cocktails named for famous Wardman Tower residents, Marlene Dietrich and Lady Bird Johnson. (Marlene’s Autumn Breeze—an autumnal take on an Old-Fashioned featuring Taconic Bourbon Whiskey and The Lady Bird Fizz—a vodka-based cocktail featuring pear, rosemary and ginger flavors). Two Paul Jenkins paintings anchored the main socializing space, which gave guests plenty of room to circulate, mingle and browse.

“We were delighted to work with the great team at Long & Foster on this exciting event at Wardman Tower,” said Doyle CEO Laura Doyle. “The luxurious penthouse provided a dazzling venue for exhibiting art and jewelry.”

Penthouse Four Wardman Tower Washington DC Living Room

Penthouse Four features 4,527 square feet of interior space and generous wall space for displaying remarkable pieces. (Jeff Cornett)

Penthouse Four at Wardman Tower is designed with the collector in mind. With 4,527 square feet of interior space, it offers generous wall space for displaying remarkable pieces. The event with Doyle was a rare chance to show that capability in real-time.

By the next morning, guests had gone home, breakdown and loadout was complete and Penthouse Four was still, having proved it can be both a quiet retreat above the urban hustle and a bustling hub of social activity, entertaining, dining and art.

Written by Caroline Gould, UrbanPace.