ON THE MARKET: Peel back the layers of this replica onion barn in Southport
FAIRFIELD — Back in the 1800s Fairfield and Westport farmers grew onions by the thousands. Almost every square inch of real estate of both towns contained onion fields. As the Fairfieldschools.org website says, local farmers developed onions as “the area cash crop.”
The Southport section of Fairfield had their own type of onion called the “Southport Yellow and White Globe Onions,” which had “evolved from seed strains earlier grown along the Connecticut River Valley,” the website says.
Banks Place, a private lane in Southport near the Westport line, has a handful of houses on it now but more than a century ago the cul-de-sac was covered in onion crops. At 129 Banks Place there sits a colonial reproduction farmhouse designed to replicate the property’s original onion barn in keeping with the history of the area.
The house is located on a 1.13-acre level property with wide open lawn and a wooded area. The property is professionally landscaped and includes original maple trees estimated to be more than 90 years old.
The house was built in 2008 of natural stone and reclaimed barn wood with modern design elements complete with a barn-style silo on the front façade. But while honoring the town’s agricultural past, this 4,126-square-foot house contains elegant design elements, sophisticated interior features and modern amenities suitable for today’s lifestyle including a five-zone geothermal heating system with a natural gas back-up system, an eco-slate roof, and a spacious gourmet kitchen.
Old and new are interwoven as with the rustic barn-style cabinet doors that hide televisions and related components in several rooms. Eight inch wide-planked walnut hardwood floors are stained in more contemporary chocolate and heartwood colors. A wide slate, stone and Belgium block path leads to the substantial glass and metal front door that opens to the foyer, which has a wrapping staircase with iron balusters, paneled newels and walnut treads.
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The first floor master suite is accessed by passing through the silo’s “Revolutionary Room,” which features a paneled wall with a red brick gas fireplace. The master suite has a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace flanked by doors that lead to a bluestone patio with a fire pit. Its master bath features a Calacatta Italian marble floor, separate vanities with vessel sinks, steam shower and soaking tub.
In the main wing the formal dining room has a wall of built-in display shelving and an oversized sliding door to the rear yard and patio. The gourmet kitchen features a Le Cornue Le Chateau 150th Anniversary Edition cast iron range with a custom engraved plaque containing the address of this property. A hand-painted tile mural above the range depicts an agricultural scene with cows and a farmhouse.
Other features include three Sub-Zero refrigerators, two Miele dishwashers, an over-sized center island with butler block counter, and a large walk-in pantry. The kitchen is open to the family or great room with a cathedral ceiling and floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace with a walnut mantel. The sun room off the great room has a radiant heated porcelain tile floor and door to the yard.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
TYPE: Colonial Farmhouse
ADDRESS: 129 Banks Place
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 9
FEATURES: water community; easy walk to Southport Harbor, Southport Village, Southport beach, train station, and Pequot Library; five-zone geothermal heating, passive solar energy, eco-slate roof, generator, Energy Star-rated house and appliances, insulated Low E windows, Eco-Logic foam insulation, ceiling fans, 1.13-acre level property, bluestone patios, gas fire pit, outdoor shower, audio system, three fireplace, professional landscaping, central vacuum system, balconies, skylights, some window treatments, vegetable garden, four bedrooms; three full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Mill Hill Elementary, Roger Ludlowe Middle, Fairfield Ludlowe High
TAX RATE: 24.79 mills
Knotty alderwood sliding barn doors on the second floor separate the two bedrooms from hallways. The “Martha’s Vineyard” bedroom has a balcony and the “Europe” bedroom has a rounded wall. The second floor also contains the wide loft landing, which has an area that serves as a small open office or a homework area.
Two garages, one attached and one detached, offer a total of four vehicle bays. The attached two-car garage has a bonus room or fourth bedroom above with two Juliet balconies and a full bath.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Denise Walsh and Paulette Cuozzo of Denise Walsh and Partners/William Raveis Real Estate; Walsh at 203-650-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Cuozzo at 203-521-7383 or email@example.com.