On the market: House evolves as ‘model’ for contemporary comforts
Published 7:32 am, Saturday, December 5, 2015
Sears department stores are disappearing from the American landscape; only 793 Sears stores still exist. But the company still has a major presence in the nation’s streetscapes.
From 1908 until 1940, Sears sold as many as 75,000 house models through its mail-order Modern Homes program, according to the Sears Archives website. Models included The Arlington, The Verona, The Elmhurst, The Bellewood and even The Fairfield — the latter sold between 1933 and1940.
An example of one of Sears’ early models stands at 594 Stratfield Road in Fairfield. The barn-red color antique farmhouse was built in 1917 from The Hillrose Model (No. C189), which sold for between $1,553 and $3,242 at the time. The builder made at least one modification. Although the original design included a covered front porch, this house has a sizable wrap-around porch and a small greenhouse off the formal dining room.
The current owners thoughtfully and carefully updated the house while maintaining the original spirit.
The house is quite large despite the fact its square footage totals 2,912. It has several generously sized rooms and four floors of living space from the partially finished basement that houses a game room to the third floor master bedroom suite.
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A stone path leads from the sidewalk to the front porch and French doors with beveled glass that provide a wide opening into the foyer, which has wallcovering in bold stripes of two shades of blue. The formal living room has a fireplace with an unusual decorative mantel. The formal dining room has a door to the side portion of the wrap-around porch and another door into a small greenhouse. A small office has paneled walls and a wall of built-in shelves.
The country kitchen has two separate sections. The eat-in area has granite counters, bead board on the lower walls and a Maytag refrigerator. The Maytag range and dishwasher are in the prep portion of the kitchen, which also has granite counters. A door in the kitchen leads into a back hall that functions as a mudroom. From there access the backyard, which is relatively large for the town’s Stratfield neighborhood.
The yard has a stone wall and attractive landscaping. There is also a two-car detached garage with electricity and ample parking.
House of the Week
TYPE OF HOUSE: Antique farmhouse
ADDRESS: 594 Stratfield Road
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 10
FEATURES: Sears house, small greenhouse, new roof, new furnace, 0.50-acre level property, partially fenced yard, easy access to public transportation, wide wrap-around porch, hardwood floors throughout, exterior lighting, one fireplace with new liner, storm windows, two-car detached garage with electricity, and plenty of parking, zoned gas radiator heat, stone foundation, attic, full partially finished basement, six bedrooms, three full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Stratfield Elementary, Tomlinson Middle, Fairfield Warde High
TAX RATE: 24.79 mills
An unusual staircase has several steps up from opposite directions, one from the foyer and the other from the kitchen that meet and then ascend to the second floor, where there are four bedrooms. One, the former master bedroom, is currently used as a family room. The two bedrooms along the front of the house both have bow windows and built-in window seats. In the long hallway there is a built-in bookshelf.
On the third floor the current owners have taken two bedrooms and created the master suite. The smaller bedroom serves as a dressing room but could be a bedroom, if necessary, or another office. The master bath features a vaulted ceiling, white bead board on the lower walls, a black marble floor and old-fashioned claw-foot tub. There is also a walk-in closet and attic storage on this level.
The house sits across the street from Our Lady of the Assumption Church and School. It has access to public transportation as well as easy access to stores and restaurants.