Westport’s landscape has changed dramatically over the past few decades as the “tear-downs of the day” have given way to cavernous new homes.

One life-long Westporter, Joyce Stites, remembers the Westport streetscape of her childhood and decided to design and construct a Colonial that could accommodate today’s lifestyle while blending with the character for which the town is known. According to the listing agent, Lisa Neufeld, in 2012 Stites purchased a property at 378 Riverside Ave. from her mother’s estate and hired noted local builder Peter Nisenson of the Pen Building Co. and local Westport architect David Preusch to bring her vision to fruition. The 3,356-square-foot classic Colonial was completed in 2014.

The HOBI Award-winning custom house sits on a 0.38-acre level and gently sloping parcel in the Saugatuck section of town, adjacent to Birchwood Country Club land and across the street from the Saugatuck River. The neighborhood has sidewalks, which are not seen in many other sections of town. The new owner can use the sidewalks to access the Saugatuck Railroad Station and the reinvigorated Saugatuck Center’s restaurants and shops, all of which are a short walk away.

The architect and builder’s attention to detail is evident right as one turns into the driveway, marked by the stone pillars, part of the stone wall that stands along the front of the property. Instead of the typical plain paved driveway with a border of Belgium block it also has an inlaid three-row cobblestone detail created from Belgium block. The custom millwork and attention to detail even extends to the balusters of the staircase from the first to second floor.

A red-brick wall and bluestone patio serve as a large welcome mat and leads to the covered front entrance. Inside, the house has two gas-fueled fireplaces, one in the formal living room and one in the family room, and white oak stained floors. Unlike most houses it also has two butler’s pantries — one between the living and family rooms and the other between the formal dining room and kitchen, which will be helpful when entertaining guests. The living room pantry has glass front cabinets, marble counter and a wine refrigerator.

The living room has a built-in bookshelf. The dining room has Wainscoting on the lower walls. In the gourmet marble kitchen high-end stainless steel appliances include a Thermador six-burner range and Bosch refrigerator. The kitchen features an over-sized center island with a prep sink, an eating area and walls of over-sized windows. A door in the kitchen leads to the over-sized bluestone patio and backyard. A pocket door separates it from the mudroom which has a built-in bench and cubbies.

This section of the house contains a live/work option in the large room above the attached two-car garage. That fourth en-suite bedroom, which has a separate entrance from outside, could also function as an office, in-law or nanny suite, or teen hang-out.

Three more bedrooms are in the main wing of the house on the second floor. The house was constructed in such a way that all four bedrooms enjoy views of the Saugatuck River. In the master bedroom suite there are his-and-hers walk-in closets and the marble bath has a double vanity with honed soapstone counter and a large soaking tub.

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There is a third floor, a small space created by the cupola which would make an ideal reading area, study or art studio because of the amount of natural light that floods in.

Neufeld said the house is spacious without being overwhelming, but should the new family need additional space the full, unfinished walk-out basement has another 1,400 square feet of possibilities. It also has 9-foot foundation walls and it is plumbed for a full bathroom. The basement provides easy access to the back yard.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house, contact Lisa Neufeld of William Raveis Real Estate at 203-858-8646 or lisa.neufeld@raveis.com.

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House of the Week

STYLE: Newly built Colonial

ADDRESS: 378 Riverside Ave.

PRICE: $1,699,000


FEATURES: views of the Saugatuck River; walk to the river; walking distance to Saugatuck Railroad Station, restaurants and shops; minutes from I-95; biking distance to the beach; generator; winner of HOBI Award for classic reproduction; stone walls; two butler’s pantries; ridge vents; Thermopane windows; energy-efficient furnace; wired for surround sound; professional landscaping; oversized bluestone patio; automatic irrigation system; four bedrooms, four full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Kings Highway Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High

ASSESSMENT: $748,200

MILL RATE: 18.09 mills

TAXES: $13,535