Family reluctantly lists Westport antique home
WESTPORT — The house at 2 Bayberry Lane was built in 1835, with a chicken coop and a horse barn, which owners later converted to an onion barn.
Over the years, successive owners have revamped the antique converted farm/colonial, which now comprises 6,500 square feet with a pool, pool house and luxurious gardens.
“I feel like we live in a throwaway society and this just is not that kind of house,” said Jennifer O’Brien. “It’s been around for so long, there’s so much history here and the house really hasn’t changed hands that many times. It seems like the people that live here, they want to stay here.”
Thirteen years ago, she and her husband embarked on a quest to find a unique home that could comfortably house them and their six children. The O’Briens were fond of antique homes, and looked for one close to amenities including supermarkets, restaurants, outdoor recreation and schools.
O’Brien scheduled several trips to Connecticut from Kansas City to look for the perfect home. The first time she visited 2 Bayberry Lane, she was sold immediately.
“It was completely not what I expected from the street. The gardens were in bloom and the tree in the middle of the driveway was blooming and it was just spectacular,” she said. “And then when I walked in the door … I just knew it was the house for us.”
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The house has a few unique features including a three-story stone fireplace, a heavy oak door reclaimed from Princeton University, a gargoyle sink in the powder room, wide board floors, light fixtures from Italy, a 1930 Ford Model A sitting in the garage and soaring ceilings with original post and beams.
The Jennings family, the original builders, lived for generations in a small living quarters that O’Brien says is now perfect for in-laws, a nanny or office space. That area also has a private entrance.
The distinct home sits adjacent to another house, 4 Bayberry Lane, which has three-bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a two-car garage. This space is also suitable for in-laws or people looking to keep their parents close by, said Julie Vanderblue, owner of the Vanderblue Team. She and her partner Ian O’Malley are listing the home. In the past five years, she’s witnessed a local surge in people searching for in-law suites because the cost of senior care is expensive, she said. The two houses, on two acres, are on sale for $3.3 million.
The O’Briens, moving to Atlanta for a new job opportunity, never imagined they’d part with their home.
“We’re sick to be leaving. We thought we would be here forever,” O’Brien said. “Our girls were thinking they were going get married here. This isn’t just a house. This house has history. There will never be anything like this.”