On the market: A characterful cottage on a lake
Updated 8:25 am, Saturday, August 15, 2015
A Westport mason used cobblestones from the roadway of Heron Lake Lane to build the exterior walls of his country cottage, and the fireplace in his living room. The stonework now adds considerable charm to this unique residence.
The cottage sits on nearly one acre at 1 Heron Lake Lane in the Old Hill section of town. As the name of the street suggests the house is close to Heron Lake, a man-made lake created from old gravel pits. While this house does not have a direct view of the lake there are seasonal views available from the lower end of the triangular-shaped backyard.
Lake views or not, this house sits in an inspiring setting with a mix of open lawn and wooded areas with mature trees. Its diminutive size — it has 1,945 square feet of living space, might make it unsuitable for some 21st Century families, but it is an ideal weekend retreat from Manhattan, summer home, or a year-round studio and residence for an artist or writer or anyone else involved in creative endeavors.
Although the surroundings give the impression of remoteness, the house is not far from beaches, sailing, golf, tennis, outdoor entertainment, ice skating, music amphitheater, library, restaurants and shops downtown. There is also relatively easy access to the Merritt Parkway.
Additions were constructed to enlarge the living space of the house, which was built in 1958 on 0.93-acre. The property is marked by a stone wall along the street and the front lawn is graced by the presence of a statuesque beech tree.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
ADDRESS: 1 Heron Lake Lane
FEATURES: weekend getaway for all seasons, nearly one-acre property, seasonal lake views from yard, 10 minutes from downtown Westport, two fireplaces, skylights, insulated Thermopane windows, nine-foot-plus ceilings, patio, stone shed, privacy fencing, audio system, two-car attached under house garage, extra insulation, ridge vents, two bedrooms, two full baths
SCHOOLS: Kings Highway Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High
MILL RATE: 18.09 mills
Inside, there is one wall of stone in the kitchen, which may at one time have been an exterior wall of the house or perhaps even part of a cold box to hold blocks of ice. The spacious kitchen is a newer addition. It comprises a slate floor, double stainless sinks, a vaulted ceiling and French doors to the bluestone patio and yard. Kitchen appliances include a DCS range with Broan hood, Fisher & Paykel dishwasher and GE Profile refrigerator. The large, upscale kitchen amplifies the home’s great entertaining appeal.
In the spacious living, or great, room, the floor-to-ceiling fireplace is outfitted to heat the house and cut down on energy costs. The flooring in the living room is hickory wood as are the upper portions of the walls, which provide hidden storage. The kitchen cabinets are also hickory.
Upstairs, there are two bedrooms and a family room, which is currently used as the master bedroom. It has a red brick fireplace, cork floor, skylight and tall windows to take in the bucolic view. Great use of glass throughout the house provides an abundance of natural light.
Outside, there is a vegetable garden with deer fencing and plenty of space to create an outdoor entertainment area with a built-in grill and other features. There is also a secret garden in another area of the yard.
The lower level has room and accommodations to create an artist’s workshop, studio or office.
The current owner installed a five-bedroom septic system to replace the previous cesspool and there is plenty of room for expansion outward or upward — or both.
For those who like history associated with their living space, the house was previously owned by Philip Langner, son of Lawrence Langner, playwright, author and founder of the Westport Country Playhouse.
There will be a public open house at the property on Sunday, Aug. 16, from 1 to 4 p.m.
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house, contact Marilyn Katz of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties at 203-451-1977 or MarilynKatz@bhhsne.com.