On the Market: Custom-built contemporary ranch in Greenfield Hill

FAIRFIELD — Mid-century modern homes are often considered an intersection of architecture, art and nature. Among those whose residential designs fit that description are renowned architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Marcel Breuer, all of whom left their signature in the Fairfield County landscape.

A lesser-known name left his mark on a two-acre level property at 30 Spring Hill Road. The owners of that lot selected a California contemporary ranch-style design created by Donald J. Scholz (1919-1999) and hired his building firm to custom build their home in 1962. That house is on the market for the first time, and its new owners will live within the walls of a home attached to Scholz, a man who was named one of the 20th century’s 100 most influential figures in the residential building industry by Builder magazine in 2000, according to www.fhho.org, the website for the Forest Hill Homeowners, Inc., a neighborhood in Ohio that includes homes designed by Scholz.

“A native of the Cleveland area, Mr. Scholz estimated that he designed and built 50,000 homes throughout the country during his long career. In 1969, he was named builder of the year by Professional Builder magazine for being a pioneer in modular housing and for being among the first to sell land and building projects. He was inducted into the National Association of Home Builders Hall of Fame in 1979,” according to a 2002 article in the Toledo Blade.

The Forest Hill website says he founded Scholz Homes in Toledo in 1946 to meet “the burgeoning demand created by the legions of returning GIs (from World War II). Although not a formally trained architect or even an engineer, Scholz was influenced by Modernist architects like (Ludwig) Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright,” the website said.

“It is kind of an interesting story of a home builder from the Midwest who was inspired by California contemporary ranches and built them all over the country,” the listing agent said. Scholz wanted to enter the luxury market with a combination of a manufactured housing system and superior design elements that would cater to affluent buyers. In 2000 Scholz was named to Builder Magazine as one of the 20th century's 100 most influential figures in residential building,” according to information presented by the agent.

A brochure for Scholz’s homes, adapted from Ramon Alvarez, former Forest Hill resident and expert on 1950’s architectural design, describes them this way: “Enter here those who thrill to the majesty of unobstructed space, the beauty in the honesty of straightforward exposed structure, the uninhibited communion of interior with the pageantry of nature outdoors.”

Scholz’s designs were known for extensive floor-to-ceiling glass treatments, cathedral ceilings, and open living spaces that were used to bring the outdoors inside, the agent said. The contemporary ranch in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield comprises an exterior of vertical board and batten siding and brick painted white. It is striking as it sits in the landscape of tall trees, some specimen trees, and established shrubbery. Sasco Brook may not be Wright’s Falling Water but it trickles through the far end of the property and is visible from the substantial wood deck. This attractive setting can be viewed from the many walls of glass found throughout this house.

The homeowners also expanded upon the original design with an addition in 1990, extending the size of the house to its current 3,356 square feet. They did several other upgrades as well, including the addition of a Gunite in-ground swimming pool and a tennis court. The home has three bedrooms but the property has an oversized septic system so the study could be converted into a fourth bedroom, if necessary.


TYPE OF HOUSE: Custom-built Contemporary Ranch

ADDRESS: 30 Spring Hill Road

PRICE: $770,000


FEATURES: 2.01-acre level property, Gunite in-ground swimming pool, tennis court, first time ever on the market, large wood deck, some specimen trees, garden area, exterior lighting, recently re-painted inside and out, single level living, water frontage along Sasco Brook, water views, one wood-burning fireplace, pre-wired for cable, open floor plan, programmable thermostat, Thermopane windows, skylights, zoned central air conditioning, updated zoned natural gas heating system, semi-circular driveway, attic, basement crawl space, attached two-car garage, public water connection, septic system, three bedrooms (with a possible fourth), two full and two half baths

SCHOOL: Dwight Elementary, Roger Ludlowe Middle, Fairfield Ludlowe High

ASSESSMENT: $541,450

TAX RATE: 26.79 mills

TAXES: $14,505

French doors open to reveal a grand front-to-back living room with a cathedral ceiling, exposed beams, and a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace. French doors at the rear of this room access the deck. One wing of the house contains the dining room, kitchen, breakfast room, family room, and play room with a half bath while the opposite wing features the study, master suite with a dressing room, walk-in closet and private bath, two other bedrooms, a full bath and a half bath; single level living.

The agent has possession of the original specifications for the building of this house, as well as the for the addition, should the next owners want to review them.

For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Michael Dinshaw of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 203-227-1895 or Michael.dinshaw@gmail.com.

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