On the Market: Easton home has been featured in two films

EASTON — In 1621, the colonists of Plymouth, Massachusetts shared an “autumn harvest feast” with members of the Wampanoag tribes, “acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies,” according to the History Channel’s website.

It goes on to say, “in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation ... For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.”

In 2019, the residents of the custom-built colonial house at 25 Abbey Road in Easton had occasion to celebrate two Thanksgiving Days in the same year — the traditional November feast and another one months earlier in February. That year, award-winning French filmmaker and writer Jonathan Bucari used Nancy and David Purcell’s home to film “The Elephant in the Room,” which follows a young couple questioning its relationship after a tough political fight among family on Thanksgiving, according to the IMDB website. Bucari described it as “a family love story in danger because of political divisions.”

It was the second time Bucari chose the Purcell’s home as the setting for one of his films. The first was in 2011 for “The Sacrificial Lamb,” an FBI drama filled with political intrigue.

“Location is as important as casting (actors) … Two aspects made me choose that house,” Bucari said, pointing out the home’s beauty and seeming remoteness while actually being convenient to modern amenities. Bucari said the house is set in a quiet neighborhood, which was necessary for filming, while it is near Route 25, as well as the center of Monroe, its shops and restaurants.

The beauty of the three-acre level parcel is augmented by its panoramic views, including the five-acre pond across the street. David Purcell said they have kayaked on the pond, and when it freezes over, they skate on it. Tranquility is guaranteed because the Purcell’s lot adjoins Aquarion Water Company property on which nothing will be constructed.

Bucari also appreciated the home’s interior, citing its “really gorgeous décor, warm color tones, lots of natural light and lots of windows.” He said the Purcell’s home is what he pictured in his mind. “It’s almost like I wrote (The Sacrificial Lamb script) for this house.” The house elevated the film’s production value, he said, adding, “It’s an inspiring house.”

It’s also a house of high form and function, something Bucari took advantage of while shooting his projects, particularly the most recent one.

ABOUT THIS HOUSE

TYPE OF HOUSE: Colonial

ADDRESS: 25 Abbey Road, Easton

PRICE: $1,295,000

NUMBER OF ROOMS: 13

FEATURES: three-acre level parcel, pond views, use of the pond, located on a quiet cul-de-sac, bluestone patio, exterior lighting, surround sound, imported light fixtures and wallpapers, three fireplaces, balcony, front and rear staircases, butler's pantry, wet bar, professional landscaping, perennial gardens and specimen trees; only minutes from the center of Monroe; cable - pre-wired, two laundry rooms, rear staircase, circular driveway, attached under house three-car garage, full unfinished walk-out basement, large workshop, zoned central air conditioning and oil heat, walk-up attic, septic system, city water, stone wall, possible pool site, six bedrooms, five full and two half baths,

SCHOOL: Samuel Staples Elementary, Helen Keller Middle, Joel Barlow High

ASSESSMENT: $778,030

TAX RATE: 31.00 mills

TAXES: $24,119

During most filming, meals are only artful re-creations of actual food. For “The Elephant in the Room,” Bucari said the feast “was an actual Thanksgiving meal,” cooked in the Purcell’s gourmet kitchen and fed to the cast and crew after filming concluded for the day. In fact, Nancy Purcell did all the cooking “except for the turkey.”

The eat-in kitchen features top-of-the-line appliances, a center island, riverbed granite Ogee-edged counters, under-cabinet lighting and sliding doors to the sizable bluestone patio and spectacular grounds.

“We worked hard on our birding areas to attract birds in winter and summer,” Nancy Purcell said. They enjoy watching Baltimore orioles, evening grosbeaks, indigo buntings, and a resident Cooper’s hawk. “It’s peaceful and beautiful; a natural wonderland,” she said.

The butler’s pantry between the kitchen and formal dining room has a tumbled marble backsplash, stainless sink and beverage refrigerator.

This 5,848-square-foot house was built in 2002 on a cul-de-sac named for a monastery that was once planned by the Tenth Order of Monks but never came to fruition. It features custom detailed mill work, mission-style railings, imported wallpapers, hardwood floors with mahogany inlaid room borders, as well as 10 rooms, including at least five bedrooms and a possible sixth.

The luxurious master suite has its own separate wing with a marble fireplace, large sitting room and spa-like bath, comprising of 100-year-old marine oak board flooring, a large steam shower, jetted tub surrounded in Calcutta Gold marble and a built-in window seat.

The third floor features wall-to-wall carpeting, window seats and its own heating and cooling system, and the cavernous, unfinished walk-out lower level has a workshop area and room for endless possibilities.

The floor plan is ideal for day-to-day living and entertaining, whether intimate or on a grand scale, and, obviously, hosts film crews quite well.

“The way the house flows lends itself to home offices and home schooling,” Nancy Purcell said, adding “My hope is a family with kids will buy it.”

“It’s a very special home,” David Purcell said.

Bucari said he “may have to get in touch with the new owners. There are still rooms there I haven’t touched.”

“The Elephant in the Room” recently premiered at the Big Apple Film Festival and next year will likely be seen at other festivals around the world. Prospective homebuyers don’t have to wait for a screening to see this house. Keep alert to upcoming open houses.

For more information, or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact Lori Auerbach or Julie Vanderblue of The Vanderblue Team and Higgins Group Real Estate; Auerbach at 646-734-3514 or Lori@vanderblue.com, and Vanderblue at 203-257-6994 or Julie@vanderblue.com.