On the market: Greenfield Hill estate has class, comforts
FAIRFIELD — Twentieth century industrialists lived lavishly. Their creature comforts are still evident in many local houses, among them the Georgian neo-colonial at 1055 Mine Hill Road in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield.
The house was designed by renowned Fairfield architect Cameron Clark and built in 1940 for Bridgeport industrialist George Macy Wheeler. One can imagine Wheeler returning home from a long day at work to his large, though comfortable, home and crossing the entrance foyer to the wet bar just outside the front-to-back formal living room for a relaxing beverage. One can also imagine the business entertainment and family gatherings that occurred in the house and on its attractive grounds.
This former Wheeler estate sits on a two-acre parcel about half way up Mine Hill Road, which is one of Fairfield’s designated scenic roads. Clark imbued the interior of the pale yellow house and its white trim and black shutters with timeless elegance, including European-inspired details, such as intricate moldings, millwork, arched doorways topped with keystones, paneling and finishes which continue throughout the 5,520 square feet of living space. The current family added custom painted walls, some with faux finishes, some with hand-painted details and in the dining room a hand-painted mural depicting Greenfield Hill and Southport Harbor.
Chances are, not every prospective buyer will want to keep the pink walls found in many of the first floor rooms, even though the artistic work is well done and the painting adds character, but the color can be easily neutralized to suite the 21st Century lifestyle with a couple of cans of paint.
The estate is in a private setting down a long, tree-lined driveway that feels like the middle of nowhere and yet it is only three miles to downtown Fairfield and the train station, and within walking distance to Greenfield Hill Congregational Church and Timothy Dwight Park.
“This location (is) ideal and we are still close to town but we have privacy ... Driving through the stone columns and into our haven (gives) us a feeling of peace and warmth. There is nothing better than coming home to such a special place … The grounds are extremely special and we love living so high on the hill,” said one of the homeowners. The family has lived here since 1979.
The landscaping on the attractive level and gently sloping grounds were designed by landscape architect Agnes Clark, Cameron Clark’s wife, and includes perennial gardens and specimen plantings, which are protected by deer fencing.
Real Estate Listings
An addition was constructed in 1981 for the kitchen and great room, where the current residents enjoy eating breakfast as they are warmed by its passive solar system of skylights and a ceiling fan. The great room also has French doors to the elevated ironwood deck.
In 2003, the kitchen was totally renovated and features a large center island with two stainless sinks, granite counters, Wolf gas cooktop and double ovens, and Sub-Zero refrigerator. To augment service for large gatherings the house has a large butler’s pantry with a sink, glass-front cabinets, green marble counters and a Bosch dishwasher.
The formal dining room has French doors to the bluestone patio and one of the home’s five fireplaces. The living room has one paneled wall which contains its fireplace. Off this room is the music room. It has a cathedral ceiling and French doors to one of the home’s bluestone patios.
House of the Week
TYPE: Georgian neo-Colonial
ADDRESS: 1055 Mine Hill Road
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 12
FEATURES: generator, private 2.02-acre level and sloping property, landscaping designed by Agnes Clark, bluestone patios, elevated ironwood deck with awning, porches, deer fencing, five fireplaces, cedar wood shingle roof with ice shields and ridge vents, skylights, walk-up attic w/cedar closet, exterior lighting, stone walls, long circular driveway, front and rear staircases, corn crib, tool shed, ceiling fans, Palladian windows, full finished walk out lower level, six bedrooms, pool site, four full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Burr Elementary, Tomlinson Middle, Fairfield Warde High
TAX RATE: 24.79 mills
The dark paneled office has a wall of built-in bookshelves and a fireplace with a surround of vintage hand-painted European-imported tiles.
On the second floor are six bedrooms, two of which are in a separate wing and could be used as staff quarters, and may have been in the past. The master bedroom suite has wall-to-wall carpeting, a fireplace, dressing room and a shoe closet. The bath has a steam shower.
The walk-out lower level boasts the fifth fireplace as well as a recreation room.
There will be an open house on Sunday, March 13, from 1 to 3 p.m.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact Julie Vanderblue or Coleen Intrieri, both of the Vanderblue Team, an affiliate of Higgins Group Real Estate — Vanderblue at 203-257-6994 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Intrieri at 203-610-2667 or email@example.com.