Two-century-old Federal style on the market
Standing in Vermont since 1801 and more than a century later slated to be replaced by a gas station, the Windsor House was moved to Connecticut in the 1930s by the Bloomingdale family, the home's residents for many years.
Today, the old-world house is set on almost nine acres of lush lawns and perennial gardens on the New Canaan and Wilton borders, overlooking the Silvermine River.
A 1950 Antiques magazine article said that the central section had to be shipped in one piece on a box car, while the rest of the structure was unpegged and sent to Connecticut in pieces.
The house was designed and built by Asher Benjamin in High Federal style for Judge Jonathan Hatch Hubbard, a lawyer and U.S. congressman who was a judge of the Supreme Court of Vermont from 1813 to 1815.
There are two principal entries to the house and its separate guest cottage, with a scenic drive crossing over an old moss-covered stone bridge spanning the Silvermine River with its nearby waterfall.
The main house, with entrances and Palladian windows on either side and bedecked with a slate roof, is 7,675 square feet, with 15 rooms, including seven bedrooms, seven baths, two powder rooms and seven fireplaces, according to Joan Madden of William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty in New Canaan, who has listed the house at little less than $5 million.
One entry door has classical dentil molding on the pediment and fluted, rounded pilasters with Ionic capitals and motifs of garlands and rosettes carried out in plaques above the windows. The same pilasters, surrounding a Palladian window, with keystone arch, are repeated above. On the third level, three dormer windows are tucked behind a balustrade.
The formal entry is square with dentil moldings throughout, wide-plank floors, a sinuous curving stairway and hand-painted murals that depict the house overlooking the river, with four children and the family dog set into the surrounding landscape.
To the right is the intimate library, with dentil moldings, bookshelves backstopped in red, cabinets, paneled wainscoting and a classic fireplace.
To the left is the large living room, from whose ceiling depend four levels of differing crown moldings and corner posts with Corinthian capitals. Wainscoting runs around the walls, and the Adam fireplace features mythological goddesses crafted of ceramic, and garlands, molding around a central panel and half-columns on either side.
The oversized dining room, also with a fireplace decorated with a central urn, has a ceiling whose corners are painted with roses and ribbons, and whose center features a rosette for the chandelier. Nearby is an office with arched French doors to a patterned brick patio and a large eat-in kitchen with island, two sinks and cream-colored cabinets, again with dentil moldings.
Adjoining the kitchen is the family room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace, and close by is a powder room, a mud room, an exercise room with river views to help relieve the pain and a staff bedroom and bath.
In another direction is the wet bar and pantry with smoked glass backsplash, copper sink, wine rack and dark granite countertops. A second pantry is designed for extensive storage.
The powder room has a copper sink set into an old-world cabinet with inlay of ribbons and garlands and a painted flower-filled urn.
The sinuous stairway has an unusual flat railing along the wall, and the main railing has a banister with a carved rosette matching the rosettes on the exterior of the house. A scenic background is punctuated with a hand-painted pheasant, parrot and robin motif.
The master suite has a fitted dressing room with a small fireplace and a separate sitting area. In the bedroom is a marble fireplace with a mantel of wood and fluted pilasters with Ionic capitals.
A second bedroom has a built-in bed with floral decor, and another bedroom has a pair of window seats and shelves and drawers on either side of the bed. Still another has a built-in desk; one bedroom is currently used as an office.
Up a flight is today's "must-have" media room, with electronic shades, couches, lounge chairs, a popcorn machine, a wet bar and a large viewing screen.
A later addition was the pool and garden room, with its heated flooring of pillow-cut limestone with deep green diamond-shaped marble insets, changing room, a limestone bath, kitchenette and laundry. Beyond is a demilune flagstone terrace and perennial beds at each corner around the oval, fenced-in pool.
Throughout the house are hand-painted murals of gardens and rose-draped urns. Often repeated are the curving diamond and circular fretwork in the early leaded glass found above the front doors. All the original wood detailing was hand-carved and all the nails hand-wrought.
There's also a two-car attached garage and, across the courtyard, a detached two-car garage.
On the other side of the drive is the two-bedroom, two-bath guest house of 1,214 square feet, built in 1958 and just totally renovated. One floor, with a columned front porch, the house sits beneath a hip roof. Here, there's a living room and dining area with a cove ceiling and white-washed wood walls, open to a galley kitchen. The room opens to a garden with shrub, perennial beds and pergola. One bedroom has its own kitchenette.
The land could be subdivided, leaving the house on 3.99 acres, the guest cottage on 2 acres and a building lot of more than three acres, according to Madden.