A Fairfield property that inspired a poet
Updated 8:39 am, Thursday, July 21, 2016
FAIRFIELD — Enjoy the privacy and peace of rural northern Fairfield without forfeiting convenience to local shops, restaurants and transportation in the renovated antique colonial and its bucolic 3.6-acre property at 2493 Redding Road in Greenfield Hill.
The house was built in 1817 on property known as Jennings Farm, after a very prominent Fairfield family. Joshua Jennings settled in Fairfield in 1650. When the Jennings owned this farm there was a barn here where Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, novelist and literary critic Robert Penn Warren, the nation’s first Poet Laureate, lived and worked for 38 years. That barn still exists but is now the next door neighbor’s garage.
His New York Times obituary in September 1989 said Warren “lived in Fairfield … surrounded by fields he loved to walk.” It’s conceivable to think Warren walked these grounds and gained inspiration for his writings here.
The yellow clapboard house underwent major renovation in 1990 to modernize the antique structure. It was expanded and updated to today’s standards while still maintaining the charm of its original structure. The current family made additional improvements, spending almost $300,000 in the last 15 years, to continue updating it for today’s families without sacrificing its vintage charm.
Modern characteristics include an open floor plan surrounded by smaller “purposeful rooms.” The house has 5,415 square feet and 13 rooms, not counting the great outdoors where there are any number of places within the property to sit and relax or engage in leisurely, sporting or equestrian pursuits.
The current family does not own horses but have made great use of the quintessential New England two-story horse and party barn. It has three stalls and a tack room on the lower level and a huge paddock. Upstairs there is a cavernous room where they have hosted family gatherings. Should the next owners keep horses, this property is walking and horseback riding distance to the 185.7-acre Brett Woods Open Space, which contains hiking and bridle trails. There are several access points into this municipal conservation area including one on Redding Road.
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There is a stone wall topped with a white picket fence that lines the front of the property. Enter the gate and walk along the bluestone path to the covered front porch, which has a blue ceiling in keeping with southern tradition to ward off “haints,” or evil spirits, and banish mosquitoes, according to co-listing agent Wendy Martinenas. The front door is framed by sidelights and a transom with decorative wrought iron detailing and opens to the two-story foyer where there is a gracefully curving staircase to the second floor.
Throughout the house arched entryways lead from one room to the next, each one capped with a decorative keystone. The attractive crown and other moldings continue onto the second floor. The parlor features window frames with decorative moldings as well, and the floors of the parlor and formal dining room have double inlaid borders of dark wood.
In the dining room there is also chair railing and a Palladium-style stained glass window. Features in the gourmet kitchen include a center island with a circular prep sink, granite counters, large farm sink, and Thermador Professional six-burner range.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
TYPE OF HOUSE: Antique Colonial
ADDRESS: 2493 Redding Road
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 13
FEATURES: horse barn, paddock, close to local bridle trails, 3.6-acre level and sloping property, fenced yard, whole-house generator, Gunite in-ground swimming pool, spa, water fall, gazebo, bluestone patios, solarium, porch, shed, in-law/au pair apartment, specimen plantings, three fireplaces, automatic irrigation system, invisible pet fencing, exterior painted in 2012, interior painted in 2015, all window treatments, proximity to the Connecticut Audubon Society at Larsen Sanctuary and the Patterson Club, walk-up attic, front and rear staircases, city water, septic system, five bedrooms, five full baths
SCHOOL: Burr Elementary, Tomlinson Middle, Fairfield Warde High
TAX RATE: 25.45 mills
The family room has a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. The playroom has a stone fireplace, skylight, built-in homework area with two desks, hand-hewn exposed beams, and a door to the first patio. The conservatory or solarium has three walls of windows and doors to the backyard. Rounding out the first floor are his and hers offices; one room has a wall of built-in bookshelves and the other has a wall of windows and built-in window seat.
On the second floor there are four bedrooms. The large master suite has an octagonal sitting room with a vaulted ceiling, a wall of built-in bookshelves and a large walk-in closet with numerous organizers. The marble bath has a steam shower and deep jetted tub. There is an in-law or au pair apartment above three-car garage with the fifth bedroom.
The current family said the property is “green and peaceful in the summer” and “crisp and colorful in autumn.”
Although this is a horse property in the rural northernmost part of Fairfield it is really only about 10 minutes away from downtown Fairfield, shops along Post Road (Route 1) in the eastern part of Westport and Westport center. The Patterson Country Club is just down the street on nearby Cross Highway.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Bob Stone or Wendy Martinenas, both of Fischer and Stone Realty Group/William Raveis Real Estate, Stone at 203-209-9941 or Bob.Stone@Raveis.com and Martinenas at 203-767-3444 or Wendy@CTGreenRealEstate.com.