A hidden treasure behind an iron gate is barely visible from its historic street, sitting down a long driveway past graceful magnolia and cherry trees and a towering maple.
The Antique house at 401 Old Post Road, between Beach and South Benson roads, has both an appealing setting and an interesting history. Built in 1880 in one location, the house was then attached about a decade later to the rear of the house next door at 415 Old Post Road, which was built in 1845. The houses remain next to each other today, but are no longer joined. The 19th century houses were disconnected and made into separate residences on adjoining properties in 1976.
The house at No. 415 is within the Old Post Road Historic District. And the house at No. 401 -- the one now on the market -- also was in the historic district for the duration of its attachment to its neighbor. But once it was separated and moved, it was outside the district boundaries.
According to a May 22, 2003, note on file with the Fairfield Historical Society, Robert Hatch, then chairman of the town's Historic District Commission, states, "the address (401 Old Post Road) is within the District, but the house at that location is NOT within the District lines; it is an interior lot beyond the southern bounds of the District."
What it lacks in historic pedigree it makes up for in a long list of other amenities. The house sits on a 0.84-acre level, park-like parcel, a good-size lot for this center section of town, especially considering its proximity to beaches only a few blocks away. It is walking distance to South Benson Marina, Jennings Beach and Penfield Beach.
Entry into the 3,408-square-foot house is under the Porte Cochere, a colonnaded passageway wide enough for vehicles to pass by the house to the two-car detached garage and additional parking spaces. Inside, the house has surprisingly high ceilings for its age. Most of the rooms, on the first and second floors, are almost 11 feet.
Off the entrance foyer/center hallway there is a vestibule with a coat closet and powder room. The formal living room has a bump out bay and a large fireplace with a wood mantle that features dentil molding and a yellow brick firebox. There is a bump-out bay window and a smaller fireplace in the family room as well. Between the two is the kitchen.
The living and family rooms share another feature, crown molding with a lip for hanging paintings and photographs without having to hammer nails into the walls.
Although there is no formal dining room, both the living and family rooms are spacious and therefore large enough to comfortably provide eat-in areas.
On the second floor there are three bedrooms, all with pinewood flooring under wall-to-wall carpeting, and two full baths. In the master bath there is a walk-in shower with hand-painted tiles in a floral design.
The full, unfinished basement is usable as is and is large enough for several functions.
The owners have an office in one section.
There is a laundry area and a sitting room. A good-size space under the stairs with a hidden alcove could easily be converted into a wine cellar.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact Eileen Foran and Ellen Fusco of William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty -- Foran at 203-257-3338 or email@example.com and Fusco at 203-257-7106 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
ADDRESS: 401 Old Post Road
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 7
AMENITIES: beach rights, walk to water, walking distance to the downtown Fairfield train station, walking distance to restaurants and shops, 0.84-acre level property, gated, partially fenced, 11-foot ceilings, two fireplaces, some window treatments, mature trees, furnace replaced in 2008, professional landscaping, most of the interior repainted in 2014
OTHER INFORMATION: three bedrooms, two full and one half baths, detached two-car garage, full unfinished basement, zoned gas hot air heating system, zoned central air conditioning, pine softwood floors under wall-to-wall carpeting on the second floor, walk-up attic, sewer system, public water
SCHOOLS: Roger Sherman Elementary, Roger Ludlowe Middle, Fairfield Ludlowe High
TAX RATE: 23.93 mills