On the market: House by legendary architect hits the market in New Canaan
Published 12:00 am, Sunday, January 15, 2017
NEW CANAAN — The 20th and 21st centuries are married seamlessly in the stone and stucco English country manor house at 102 Valley Road. This rambling house was designed and built in 1937 by legendary architect Frazier Foreman Peters, according to records at the New Canaan Historical Society, and it was renovated by a renowned celebrity designer in 2000.
The 5,232-square-foot house is sited perfectly on its property of just under three acres; not surprising when one considers Peters’ respect for the natural surroundings of the properties on which he built is stone masterpieces.
“The Peters houses are esteemed for their placement on the land... A Peters house is connected to its environment... Each Peters site was studied and considered for its finest features and natural attributes. He believed in a direct connection between a building and the land,” according to Laura A. Blau, architect and granddaughter of Peters, and Robert A. Weingarten, house historian for the Westport Historical Society on page 56 of their book Frazier Foreman Peters: Westport’s Legacy in Stone. The authors also point out that many developers today denude a property, clear-cutting all the trees before placing a house on the lot with little consideration for the slope, view or orientation to the sun and wind, all of which Peters took into consideration.
One can imagine Peters standing by the stream and taking in the view as he determined how best to orient the structure. The result is a house from which people can enjoy the views of its surroundings but also hear the calming sound of the stream as it meanders on its way to the nearby Silvermine River. The stream is below grade so residents get only the beautiful sight and mellifluous sound of the trickling water and none of the detrimental effects water can sometimes bring.
There are two footbridges on the property that cross the stream. This property also has an in-ground swimming pool, and several vantage points — a wood deck, stone terrace, and four-season sunroom off the foyer, from which to enjoy the natural landscape.
Peters gave great thought to the interior space of all his houses as well. “Living in a Peters house gave opportunity for both gatherings and privacy,” Blau and Weingarten say on page 85 of their book.
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Inside, the dramatic visual impact is achieved in its architecture and with a mix of floor surfaces — hardwood, marble, wall-to-wall carpeting, and tile, and wall coverings — dry wall, plaster and wood paneling. The great room, which includes the living and dining rooms, is open, one to the other, and yet the dining portion has a tall cathedral ceiling with exposed antique beams while the living room has a coffered ceiling. It also has the first of this home’s seven fireplaces.
Like many rooms in this house the kitchen has a ceiling of exposed beams and at least some portion of the walls is exposed fieldstone. It has a long center island topped in granite, pine cabinetry, and a butler’s pantry. Thea eat-in area has a stone fireplace, cathedral and beamed ceiling, and skylights that can be opened. The family room off the kitchen has a stone fireplace and two sets of doors on opposite walls, one that lead to the yard and the other to a balcony.
On the lower level there is a wood paneled study with built-in shelving, desk area, and cabinetry, and a bedroom with a full bath. The study has a fireplace and a door to the yard.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
Three other bedrooms are on the first floor, the master in a cavernous wing of its own, and the last remaining bedroom is also by itself on the second floor. This charming en suite bedroom resembles the type of accommodations one might find in an upscale bed and breakfast. It has a cathedral ceiling, fireplace, and a floor painted white and soft sage green in a harlequin pattern.
Back on the main floor, one of the bedrooms has a full bath, three closets, and French doors to a balcony. The master suite is in a league of its own, hidden behind French doors that separate it from the rest of the house. It has a large sitting or dressing room which has a fireplace and French doors to the front deck and two walk-in closets. The bedroom itself has a double-height tray ceiling, built-in speakers, and another fireplace, this one flanked by doors to a private screened porch. The spa-like master bath has a wood floor, cathedral ceiling, two marble vanities, a deep soaking tub and water closet.
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Candace J. Blackwood of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties at 203-273-1007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.