A new start: resident leaves to open B&B

It’s the end of an era. Steve Timlin, 63, has lived in the gorgeous yellow house directly behind the Foggy Bottom Metro since March 20, 1986 – before some of GW’s students were even born.

But on June 1, the long-time Foggy Bottom resident will pack up his things, leave his charming, yellow house on New Hampshire Avenue, and move to Williamsburg, Va.

After 21 years of living in the same house near GW’s campus, Timlin has decided to start a new chapter in his life. He plans to run a bed and breakfast in Williamsburg with his long time friend, Esther Stiles, who rents an apartment in his house.

Timlin has been an active member of the Foggy Bottom community for years. As a 20-year member of the Foggy Bottom Association, he has sold FBA T-shirts in his front yard and fundraised for the association. Timlin was also involved in the Square 54 hearings, testifying on behalf of GW for their construction plans on the old hospital site. He also said he enjoys talking with students who pass by his house during the day.

Why does a man with such deep roots in Foggy Bottom and with GW want to leave?

Timlin has visited Williamsburg six times in his life. Over the years, he has been in awe of one particular house – a bed and breakfast called Primrose Cottage. Timlin immediately fell in love with the Cape Cod-style home.

On one of Timlin’s stays at the bed and breakfast, the manager mentioned that the cottage was for sale during a casual conversation. That same day, he decided to buy the cottage and move to Williamsburg.

“I’ve never made such a quick decision so easily in my life,” Timlin said. “I expected to live in Foggy Bottom forever. But this opportunity was just too much to pass up.”

Williamsburg is a retreat from modern life, said Timlin, who looks forward to having more quiet time, more square footage, running the bed and breakfast with his friend Esther and no student noise.

“While I have certainly been glad to know a lot of students individually, the noise late at night on the weekends has been a disturbance over the years,” Timlin said. “It will be nice to lead a quieter existence.”

While Timlin has been trying to sell his charming yellow house, he hasn’t had too many appealing offers. At this point, he plans to turn his house over to a property manager and rent out one of the three apartments within the house.

The other parts of the house will be mortgaged and put in the hands of a property owner. He plans to keep the house in case he ever plans to return to Foggy Bottom.

“I’ve had a good run here in Foggy Bottom,” Timlin said. “But it’s time for a new adventure.”

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