On the Market / Edmund W.Taylor Homestead, circa 1840, an example of architectural heritage
Published 12:00 am, Tuesday, September 12, 2017
WESTPORT — The exterior of the white Second Empire-style Victorian Georgian at 46 Wright St. retains the same distinctive mansard roof and other 19th century architectural features it received when this house was first built c.1840.
It is the interior of this unique house that was completely updated, renovated, and enhanced, so much so that the living space is essentially new construction, and the work was so masterfully done that it received the Helen Muller Preservation Award from the Westport Historic District Commission in 2015. The award was given to the homeowners “in recognition of the renovation and ongoing stewardship of this historic house and its contribution to the Kings Highway North Local Historic District. The house sits in that district in Westport’s Old Hill neighborhood.
The design by BD Design Group architectural firm in Greenwich and renovation by Tiefenthaler, a construction company in Norwalk, elevated the Edmund W. Taylor Homestead and its guest house to the standards of 21st century living. The work was so extensive that it takes two full pages to list all the renovations. Hitting the highlights, the 3,700-square-foot main house was given new structural support posts and beams, new electrical wiring and plumbing, a new heating system and new hard-wired generator. It also received a new roof and windows, except on the third floor where the decorative antique windows remain.
In the post and beam guest house, which was gutted and shored up, renovations were also plentiful. Among them was the installation of a new roof, new siding, new windows and exterior doors throughout, new plumbing fixtures, and new electrical and mechanical systems, including a new heating and cooling system. The 1267-square-foot guest house is currently used as an art studio but it can be a legal rental.
Throughout this massive re-imagining the homeowners, architects and builders were careful not to lose the charm of this house, which would be music to the ears of Gabrielle “Gay” Dearborn, a local artist who lived in this house for 50 years from 1960 until she died in 2010 at the age of 93. In those five decades Dearborn created and lovingly tended a beautiful English garden in the backyard, garnering much inspiration for her art work from the many colorful perennial blossoms. The house was also a favorite subject matter for Dearborn. The current homeowners not only preserved her house; they have saved much of her garden including roses, peonies, alliums, and bearded irises.
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The two structures and garden sit on a level property of just under one acre of which there is 13-percent coverage left to put in pool or to expand the main house. The property is only a one block sidewalk stroll to Westport’s downtown and Saugatuck River. The house is convenient to local retail shops, restaurants, recreational facilities, public library, Levitt Pavilion, municipal offices, and the Saugatuck Metro North train station.
Inside, the formal living room has a fireplace, bay window, and built-in bookshelves. There is a fireplace in the family room as well, and contemporary French doors of glass and metal to the yard. At the back of the family room is a small office. The spacious country kitchen also has a fireplace, wide planked wood floors, an over-sized porcelain sink, butcher block counters, glass front cabinetry, Viking Professional four-burner range, and Viking refrigerator.
In the newly constructed wing of this house there is the formal dining room, which is almost banquet sized and has two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. Also on the first floor is a garden room with a stainless steel counter and sink, and a door to the yard near Gay’s garden, a mudroom, laundry room, and half bath.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
TYPE: Antique Colonial/Victorian Georgian
ADDRESS: 46 Wright St,
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 11
FEATURES: historic house, Preservation Award Recipient 2015, guest house, walking distance to Saugatuck Metro North train station and local shops and restaurants downtown, 0.95-acre level parcel, audio system, Thermopane insulated windows, three fireplaces, English garden, some window treatments, zoned gas heat and air-conditioning, generator, front and rear stairs, stone wall, shed, full unfinished basement, attic, room for a pool, five bedrooms, four full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Kings Highway Elementary, Coleytown Middle, Staples High
TAX RATE: 16.86 mills
On the second floor there are three bedrooms. The master suite has two baths, both with marble tile floors, vanities with marble countertops, and under mount sinks. One has a free-standing tub. The master also features a nine-foot-plus ceilings, walk-in closet and dressing room. A walk-up attic provides several rooms for storage or to be used, if necessary, as additional bedrooms or an office. One of these rooms is quite large. All three rooms on this level have very high ceilings, which are unusual for the time period, and there is a three-paned transom above each door.
In the guest house there is a great room, kitchen, bedroom, and sitting room with a fireplace on the first floor, and another bedroom, a full bath and a loft on the second floor.
For more information or to set up an appointment to see the house contact Tanya Sprague of William Raveis Real Estate at 203-247-4754 or email@example.com.