On the Market / Dramatic Hilltop Country Estate in the heart of Westport
WESTPORT — The storybook-style French Normandy Tudor house at 12 Iron Gate Hill is awaiting its new owners to provide them with their fairy tale happily ever after.
This special house on a hilltop country estate was built in 1926. Although town deeds, mortgages, and tax records cannot confirm it, Westport Historical Society officials conclude it is one of only 41 that were designed and built in Westport by famed architect Frazier Foreman Peters, and one of only 38 that remain in the town’s residential landscape. Three had unfortunate dates with a wrecking ball, razed to make way for new construction. Apparently, their owners didn’t realize Peters was ahead of his time building houses meant to stand the tests of time, according to Laura A. Blau and Robert A. Weingarten.
Blau, an architect and Peters’ granddaughter, and Weingarten, house historian for the Westport Historical Society, collaborated on a book, “Frazier Foreman Peters: Westport’s Legacy in Stone,” published in 2014.
“Peters took the initiative to think, act, and design with the best intentions to provide quality shelter and preserve what nature provides. He built to harness the sun and secure against the wind, to design with, not against nature. He managed his projects to minimize waste and to have a light touch upon the earth. He used intelligence and science as well as the art of design to create lasting, thoughtful structures that enhance the community,” Blau and Weingarten said in their book. This house is pictured in their book on pages 41 and 152.
In a letter to the homeowners from Weingarten, on Westport Historical Society letterhead, the house is designated a Peters’ structure as identified by “key design characteristics,” including its fieldstone exterior and chimney, vaulted and beamed ceiling in the living room, and arched doorways.
To Peters’ original Iron Gate Hill structure many improvements were made in recent years to bring it in line with modern living standards. A new roof was installed in 2005, and a new furnace was installed in 2012. That same year the kitchen was remodeled, new windows were installed throughout the house, and the bathrooms in the secondary bedrooms were updated. The house also received new heating and air conditioning systems.
The 2.57-acre level and sloping property on which the 4,731-square-foot stone, wood, and stucco house sits also received modern day recreational features including an all-weather tennis court and a heated gunite in-ground swimming pool. A flagstone patio provides a vantage point from which to sit, relax, and enjoy the natural wooded setting and the view of a stream. The greenhouse has electricity, water and a temperature-controlled automatic roof. The property’s perennial gardens are protected by deer fencing.
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The 10-room house is on a long cul-de-sac in the Greens Farms neighborhood. Many Westport residents don’t even know it exists. The entrance to this street is marked by iron gates, which gave the street its name. While the property is quite secluded, and there are only a handful of neighbors on this street, this house is really quite convenient to downtown Westport, the Greens Farms train station, and local beaches.
Inside, the living room is the focal point of the home and the focal point of the living room is the massive floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace. It also has a cathedral ceiling covered in pecky cypress wood and a door with a decorative stained glass window to the backyard. The library has a slate floor and built-in bookshelves. There is stereo wiring in the living room and library, and speakers that resemble rocks in the garden outside.
On opposite sides of the living room there are staircases to separate second floor wings containing the bedrooms. The master suite is in one wing and it has a bath with a steam shower, jetted tub and dressing area. The opposite wing has three additional bedrooms and two new baths. There is a guest bedroom with a full bath on the main level.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
TYPE: French Normandy Tudor
ADDRESS: 12 Iron Gate Hill
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 10
FEATURES: all-weather tennis court, heated Gunite in-ground swimming pool, greenhouse, 2.57-acre level and sloping secluded property, water views of a stream, located on a cul-de-sac, flagstone patios, exterior lighting, perennial gardens, underground irrigation system, deer fencing, interior balconies, one fireplace, easy commute to Greens Farms train station and I-95, easy bike ride to the beach, skylights, pull-down attic stairs, zoned heating system, five-zone air conditioning system, attached two-car garage, partial basement, newer roof and furnace, five bedrooms, four full baths
SCHOOLS: Greens Farms Elementary, Bedford Middle, Staples High
TAX RATE: 16.86 mills
The formal dining room has an exposed beam ceiling. The cook’s kitchen features a center island, stone counters, glass-front cabinetry, and high-end appliances including a Sub-Zero refrigerator, induction cooktop, and two dishwashers. It is open to the breakfast room, which has a vaulted ceiling with skylights and French doors to the patio and yard. The family room is off the kitchen and it has wall-to-wall carpeting, built-in shelving, and a beverage refrigerator. In addition to attractive millwork the cabinetry in the kitchen and family room have paneled edges.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house, contact Lynne Minsky or Anna Henschel of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty; Minsky at 203-984-5833 or email@example.com, and Henschel at 917-576-2145 or firstname.lastname@example.org.