On the Market / Carriage house once owned by acclaimed photographer
NEW CANAAN — The level of artistry demonstrated by photographic illustrator Oscar “Ozzie” Sweet in his photographs catapulted him into the ranks of internationally renowned photographers. The images of the Stamford native graced the covers and pages of many prestigious magazines, among them Newsweek, Look, and Collier’s.
Sweet, a prolific photographer, was credited with helping to define a new era of photography, according to his New York Times obituary in February 2013. His famous subjects included Albert Einstein, Ingrid Bergman, Jackie Robinson, and Dwight D. Eisenhower and a host of others.
Sweet’s obituary mentioned that he was an apprentice to the Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum and reported that his work was influenced by iconic American painter Norman Rockwell.
Knowing of his critical eye and artistic flair, it should come as no surprise that he chose a picture perfect property in New Canaan to call home for a while, according to documentation at the New Canaan Historical Society. In 1939, Sweet lived in the antique wood shingle and stone colonial carriage house at 306 Carter Street on an attractive property that might have inspired Rockwell to capture it on a canvas.
The sizable natural wood-colored carriage house was built in 1908 and served Clapboard Hill Farm. It was built for Ernest Greene Sr., whose next door neighbor was Elizur Cable, a farmer, hat-maker, tax assessor, and justice of the peace, who was co-founder and president of the New Canaan Creamery. A plaque at the front door identifies this home as a “Town of New Canaan Historic House.” The carriage house was converted into a home in 1950 according to a document at the historical society.
In the transition many of the vintage features were preserved, such as the chestnut wide-plank flooring, exposed beams, and plaster walls, even while the structure was built to accommodate modern living. The 6,319-square-foot house was further embellished with modern amenities and beautiful finishing elements more recently and has now been completely updated for the 21st century.
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Among its many attractive features are the large attached rustic guest house, a greenhouse-like solarium with a brick floor, a barn, a heart-shaped heated in-ground swimming pool, and cabana. Some details are more subtle as in the newel post and hand railing on the staircase from the living room to the second floor.
There are more unique features inside, including a massive floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace with an arch created by careful positioning of large, flat rocks capped off with a pointed keystone. One of the stones has a dragonfly etched into it. There are also stone columns in the spacious living room. Some rooms have stone or exposed red brick walls.
The attractive stonework begins with the tall fieldstone wall that borders the property and continuing with the stone chimney. There is a long driveway with ample parking. This side of the house has three doors: The formal front entrance — where the plaque is positioned, a center entrance into the living room with a garden courtyard in front of it, and the third into the chef’s country kitchen. On the opposite side of the house there is a wide, covered porch from which to sit and take in relaxing views of the attractive 1.6-acre level property.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
STYLE: Updated Antique Colonial Carriage House
ADDRESS: 306 Carter Street
FEATURES: 1.6-acre level property, attached guest house, heated in-ground swimming pool, cabana, barn/stable, patios, solarium, generator, sauna, thermal windows, Cable TV Conn, covered porch, two fireplaces, wood roof, theater/media room, six-zoned oil and gas heating system, pergola, sheds, stone walls, well water, detached garage, pull-down attic stairs, partial unfinished basement, five bedrooms (in main house), four full and two half baths
SCHOOLS: East Elementary, Saxe Middle, New Canaan High School
MILL RATE: 16.96 mills
Inside, the house features a sizable foyer with a window seat and French doors into an office or study with a built-in desk area. The living room features a wall of built-in bookshelves and three sets of French doors to the covered porch. In the sizable formal dining room there is chair railing and wainscoting on the lower walls. The kitchen is quite large and features granite counters, a large stone farm sink, a center island with a copper prep sink, and a limestone floor. This kitchen is equipped with two ranges — a Glenwood cast iron heating and cooking range and a Garland six-burner range with grill. The eat-in area has three sets of French doors to the courtyard with a slate patio.
There is a separate entrance to the two-story guest house, but it can also be accessed from inside the main house. This guest house can be an in-law apartment. It is quite large and features an open floor plan with a living room with a stone fireplace, eat-in area, and a full kitchen on the first floor and a bedroom and marble full bath on the second floor. The kitchen has a large marble farm sink and a decorative tin tile backsplash behind the six-burner Wolf range.
Back in the main house, on the second floor there are five bedrooms. The master suite has a sitting area, tray ceiling, and sizable bath with a soaking tub and side-by-side porcelain pedestal sinks. A hall bath has a Vermont Verde marble floor. Another bath has an old-fashioned claw-foot tub. One bedroom has a wall of built-in dresser drawers.
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Jaime Sneddon and Kendall Sneddon of The Sneddon Team/William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty; Jaime at 203-219-3769 or email@example.com, and Kendall at 203-561-5658 or firstname.lastname@example.org.