The scenic roads of the Greenfield Hill area are dotted with antique stone walls, picturesque views and stunning estates, some of them -- like the one at 5060 Congress St. -- filled with fascinating history.
The bucolic property, bordered by tall stone walls and fences, is the site of a 1941 classic Cameron Clark-designed Colonial house with a 2004 new addition/renovation. The grounds also hold specimen trees and walled gardens that would be a great addition to any public garden tour, and an in-ground swimming pool and pool house that were featured in the 1968 film "The Swimmer," starring Academy Award-winning actor Burt Lancaster, who swam in this pool.
At one time, the property comprised 120 acres used for dairy farming, cattle breeding and raising poultry. In 1906, then-owner Edward Sanford called it Clear Spring Farm and he maintained a herd of 55 Jersey cattle and a flock of about 2,000 laying hens, according to a local news article published in the 1920s. Another owner, Udo Fleischmann, renamed the estate Farmwood Kennels in 1922, and he bred and trained famed Llewellyn setters, a special breed of bird dog.
Perhaps the best-known owners of the estate were Roy and Margaret "Margot" Larsen, who donated much of the land to the Connecticut Audubon Society. The remaining 4.35 acres in northern Fairfield border the Audubon Society's Larsen Sanctuary, which is open to the public.
This gives the owners of the house a blanket of privacy and striking woodland views which are unobstructed by utility wires because those wires are underground.
The house is as spectacular as the setting. It has 10,916 square feet of living space including a large wine cellar and tasting room with a limestone floor, banquet-sized formal dining room, two offices, gentleman's game room, and a large wet bar, all of which is framed with decorative moldings, high- end wallpapers, and arched entryways between many rooms. Even the transitional spaces, like the foyer and hallways, are elegant and attractive.
In the formal living room there are two hand-painted murals of pastoral scenes, the first of the home's six fireplaces, three deep bay windows and French doors to the spacious bluestone patio. The dining room also has a fireplace and French doors to the patio.
On the first floor there is a sizable game room with wood- paneled walls, fireplace, built-in bookshelves on three walls, and a decorative fluted, dentil-like molding. The wet bar, which is more like a small room, has granite counters, cherry cabinets, built-in wine rack and a built-in three-tiered Lazy Susan.
Features in the gourmet kitchen include a long, two-tiered center island, glass-front cabinets and Costa Esmeralda granite counters. High-end appliances include a Viking Professional six-burner range, Thermador double ovens and Bosch dishwasher. The eat-in area has two doors to another stone patio, this one with the outdoor kitchen and built-in grill area.
A good-size butler's pantry serves as a transitional space between the kitchen and family room. The family room has a fireplace, natural wood paneling, coffered ceiling and built-in bookshelves.
In addition to the wine cellar and tasting room, the finished basement has a media room with wall-to-wall carpeting and an exercise room.
On the second floor there are five bedrooms, all en suite. The master and one secondary bedroom have fireplaces. The master has his and hers baths and walk-in closets. Her bath has a marble mosaic tile floor and soaking tub. His has a limestone floor with a shower.
The cavernous, finished third floor has a vaulted ceiling, full bath and lots of storage.
Back outside, there is a recently constructed post-and-beam barn that can accommodate six cars, and attached to the house is a two-car garage that was constructed to resemble a barn.
The pool house has its own cabana, kitchen, bedroom and bath.
What was built by a 20th century owner as a stone chapel could be used as a potting shed.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact Doris Rowe and Tara Rowe Hawley of Coldwell Banker Previews International, Rowe at 203-767-0920 or email@example.com, and Hawley at 203-331-5939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
ADDRESS: 5060 Congress St.
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 16
AMENITIES: beach rights, abuts the Connecticut Audubon Society at Larsen Sanctuary, underground utilities, 4.35-acre level estate, partially fenced, barn, Gunite heated in-ground swimming pool, hot tub, pool house, stone chapel, wine cellar and tasting room, some window treatments, large bluestone patio, outdoor kitchen with built-in grill, wet bar, specimen trees, formal walled gardens, front and rear staircases, large cedar closet, security system, professional landscaping, built-in bookshelves, stone walls, exterior lighting, mudroom, six fireplaces, nine-foot-plus ceilings, exterior sprinkler system, storm windows and doors
OTHER INFORMATION: six bedrooms, seven full and two half baths, attached two-car garage plus detached six-car garage in stand-alone barn, full partially finished basement with bulkhead, zoned gas hot air heat, zoned central air conditioning, first and second floor laundry/utility rooms, attic, wood shingle roof, stone and concrete foundation, septic system, public water
SCHOOLS: Burr Elementary, Fairfield Woods Middle, Fairfield Warde High
TAX RATE: 23.93 mills