On the Market: 'Wistaria Court' estate in Westport bows to past while embracing future

WESTPORT — Someone on a television news program recently said, “to preserve our past is to enrich our future.”

Several owners across four centuries have preserved the main house at 193 North Avenue in the Coleytown neighborhood, and this residence and its attractive grounds will enrich the future of its next owner.

“Wistaria Court,” one of the largest estate properties ever offered in Westport, according to the co-listing agents, comprises four separate building lots totaling almost 13 acres, and three buildings. The main house may have been built in the 18th century, and in the 20th century the three-bedroom guesthouse and one-bedroom cottage were added, as were the in-ground swimming pool, tennis court, and, appropriately enough, the wisteria-laden pergola. “The setting is reminiscent of The Point — the former Rockefeller home now a Relais and Chateaux hotel, the agents said.

Little historical information exists about the rambling main house, which has been expanded over the years to its present 16 spacious rooms and 9,344 square feet of living space. Although a real estate record at town hall identifies its construction circa 1763, “The initial built date and the owner is still a mystery,” according to Robert Weingarten, house historian for the Westport Museum for History and Culture, formerly the Westport Historical Society.

“We do know that it was built by 1838 and was owned, a few years later, by Morehouse Coley. Further research is needed to determine the built date and the individual, or family, that built the initial core of the house,” Weingarten said.

Whether the house dates back to the 18th or 19th century, it is worth preserving. The National Trust for Historic Preservation encourages the saving of historic structures year round and particularly in May, which is designated National Historic Preservation Month.

“There are many reasons to buy an old house. Quality of design, of course, is important to many people. Occupying old buildings can remind us that we are part of an ongoing history, which can give a bit of perspective to our current worries and problems, and remind us that our the decisions we make now will affect those who come after us,” said Christopher Wigren, Deputy Director of Preservation Connecticut, formerly the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

Access this house and private property by traveling down a very long tree-lined driveway. Immediately apparent are the number of balconies and, in particular, the long covered veranda, which invites indoor-outdoor living and entertaining. Inside, many rooms feature exposed beams, wide-planked wood flooring, and several have built-in window seats. Four rooms feature fireplaces, including the master bedroom suite, which also has a private balcony, dressing room, and luxurious bath. This home has six bedrooms, including an in-law or au pair suite.

In the generously sized gourmet eat-in kitchen features include a farm sink, casual sitting area, breakfast nook, high-end stainless appliances, and two islands - one with a long breakfast bar accommodating four stools. Also found on the main level are the formal dining room, living and family rooms, an office and den.

More Information

STYLE: Antique Colonial

ADDRESS: 193 North Avenue

PRICE: $4,495,000


FEATURES: four separate lots totaling 12.7-acres, three-bedroom guesthouse, one-bedroom cottage, heated Gunite in-ground swimming pool, spa, pool pavilion, tennis court, patio, long covered veranda, screened porch, pergola, balconies, home theater, wine room, in-law or au pair suite, four fireplaces, walking distance to elementary and middle school, convenient to the Greens Farms and Saugatuck Metro North train stations, short distance to the Merritt Parkway, central air conditioning, zoned oil heat, wood shingle roof, full partially finished walk-out basement, stone wall, detached four-car barn/garage, public water connection, septic system, six bedrooms, six full and three half baths

SCHOOLS: Coleytown Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High

ASSESSMENT: $3,233,700

MILL RATE: 16.86 mills

TAXES: $54,520

On the full partially finished walk-out lower level there is a recreation room, a home theater and wine room.

Virtual Tour Available by Appointment. For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Libby Tritschler at 203-913-9454, Andrew Whiteley at 203-258-1595, and Wendy Ryan at 203-964-7450; ontheharbor@afahomes.com , of On the Harbor @ Al Filippone Associates at William Raveis Real Estate.