On the Market / Picturesque property on Silvermine Road
NEW CANAAN — The property at 716 Silvermine Road is a study in contrast. At one end of the two-acre level corner lot is a rustic historic barn built in the late 19th century, and at the other end is a stately colonial house that was built a century later on a picturesque private lane.
The two combine to create an attractive estate that straddles past and present, and it sits in historic Silvermine.
“Silvermine is a unique Fairfield County, Connecticut neighborhood which is made up of adjoining sections of Norwalk, New Canaan and Wilton,” according to the website for the Silvermine Community Association, a nonprofit, volunteer-led organization.
Association membership comprises residents and friends of this area. Members engage in cultural, civic, literary, historic, social, and charitable activities, and the association hosts events year-round, including “occasional history dinners, neighborhood clean-ups, an annual potluck dinner and quarterly Silvermine socials,” the website says.
This festive time of year, “Santa Claus always arrives on the back of the fire engine to deliver presents to children of SCA members,” and the Easter Bunny visits the association’s annual Pancake Breakfast.
Also found in Silvermine is GrayBarns on the Silvermine River in neighboring Norwalk, a short distance from this house, as is the Silvermine Art Center in New Canaan. GrayBarns has a rich history of its own. The former millhouse and textile factory, which is now a rustically luxurious inn and tavern offering an upscale seasonal menu, once catered to celebrities and now serves as an elegant retreat.
“The tavern hosted Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher on their honeymoon and received frequent visits from Hollywood heartthrob Spencer Tracy,” the GrayBarns website says.
Real Estate Listings
While GrayBarns provides deluxe accommodations, this 6,675-square-foot clapboard and stone house features its own upscale amenities and other attractive features, including its heated Gunite in-ground swimming pool, pool house, built-in grilling area, an outdoor fireplace, and fruit trees — apples and pears. There is also a carriage barn with two heated garage bays and a studio above it with a kitchenette and full bath.
The white house with gray shutters was built in 1972 and was meticulously renovated by current owners. Many improvements were made this year giving the house a renovated chef’s kitchen with new custom-designed white cabinetry, a renovated master bath with a soaking tub, oversized shower, double vanity and marble floor; and renovated den.
Several spaces, including the formal living room, family room, and guest bedroom, were updated, repainted and re-carpeted. The exterior of the house was power-washed and repainted, and in the backyard the pool equipment was replaced with an all new system that includes remote access from an iPhone.
Indoor-outdoor living is encouraged with the French doors that lead from the formal living room to a flagstone patio. In the formal dining room another set of French doors leads to the patio with the grilling area and fireplace. Inside, there is a marble fireplace in the living room and a floor-to-ceiling red brick fireplace in the family room.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
ADDRESS: 716 Silvermine Road
FEATURES: 2.06-acre level property, corner lot, historic barn, carriage barn with heated garage bays and studio, heated Gunite in-ground swimming pool, spa, pool house, flagstone terraces, exterior lighting, three fireplaces (one of them outdoors), outdoor gas grill, pergola, covered rear porch, proximity to conservation land trust property, convenient to three town centers, wet bar, rear stairs, apple and pear orchard, thermal storm windows, private guest room/au pair suite, skylights, wood roof, full partially finished walk-out lower level, pull-down attic stairs, attached and detached garages with total of five bays, semi-circular driveway with double border of Belgium block, stone wall, zoned central air conditioning and heating system, can be available largely furnished, six bedrooms, six full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: East Elementary, Saxe Middle, New Canaan High School
MILL RATE: 16.96 mills
The main barn on the property was built circa 1875, according to James Sexton, architectural and documentary researcher with special expertise in colonial architecture. Sexton has prepared Historic Structures Reports for the Bush-Holley historic site in Greenwich and the Pardee-Morris House, owned by the New Haven Colony Historical Society.
In a report he presented to the New Canaan Planning and Zoning Commission on September 26, 2007, Sexton called this structure a side-entry or eaves-front bank barn with a sawn, square-rule frame, interior silo, and gambrel roof. It has two small gable roofed “dependencies” that “together create a structure with a U-shaped plan.”
“If the building were constructed much earlier than this, it would not have been raised up off the ground in the way that it is,” Sexton said, adding the U-shaped collection of buildings creates a “shelter doorway to the south of the main barn,” fitting a longstanding tradition. From the research Sexton did on this barn, he concluded that this is an architecturally and historically significant structure.
“The barn complex at 716 Silvermine Road is a well-preserved example of the sorts of agricultural structures from the end of the 19th century that once filled the landscape of Fairfield County (and much of the rest of Connecticut as well). Its survival into the 21st century makes it an important physical reminder of the area’s agrarian past and an artifact well worth preserving for future generations,” Sexton said in his report.
There are other advantages to this location. The house is only minutes to schools, the New Canaan train station, and the centers of three towns — New Canaan, Norwalk, and Wilton. It is also close to the New Canaan Land Trust’s Silvermine-Fowler Preserve with walking trails.
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact co-listing agents Marsha Charles and Holly Slattery of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; Charles at 203-904-4663 or email@example.com, and Slattery at 203-722-2139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.