On the Market: New Canaan house has ties to a Republican icon
NEW CANAAN — On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, the 45th president of the United States will be sworn into office, and while it’s too early to truly know what kind of leader Donald Trump will be, some people have already drawn comparisons to Ronald Reagan.
A former New Canaan resident got to know Reagan up close and personal. James Rosebush was deputy assistant to President Ronald Reagan and he also served as chief of staff to first lady Nancy Reagan. In 2016 he wrote a book titled “True Reagan: What Made Reagan Great and Why It Matters.” Rosebush returned to the New Canaan Library last May to discuss his new book. In it “(Rosebush) shares his observations to reveal the heart of the man — the thinking, beliefs, and character many have declared ‘mysterious and unknowable,’ according to the website www.goodreads.com. One reviewer called the book “A compelling read.”
Equally compelling is the classic Connecticut colonial house that Rosebush once owned and occupied at 615 West Road. Rosebush owned the house from August 1992 to November 1993. The current owners purchased the 5,019-square-foot house from him. It was built in 1930 and more recently underwent two major renovations to update it for today’s living under the direction of noted New Canaan designer Louise Brooks. The project gave the home an addition that houses its gourmet kitchen, family room, and mudroom, and another project updated the second floor master suite. The house has large light-filled rooms many of which open onto the large bluestone terraced patio.
There is nothing mysterious about this house. Its many assets are obvious starting with its nearly two-acre level and sloping property, which is surrounded by significant estates of double the size of this one. The perimeter of the property is bordered with a fieldstone wall that may have stood on this former farmland for centuries. The white clapboard house with dark green shutters is set well back from the road. The driveway circles around the detached two-car garage. The front entrance is punctuated by four thin columns, sidelights, and dentil molding over the front door, all of which hint at the level of detail found inside. The front door is replete with an eagle knocker.
In the original part of the house the formal living room features a fireplace and French doors to a small covered porch, a bluestone patio and the backyard. The office has three walls of built-in bookshelves, a window seat and grass cloth wall covering. In the formal dining room the walls are adorned in an Asian-inspired green and white wallpaper.
The butler’s pantry serves as a transitional area between the original section and the new addition. This pantry has a granite counter, glass front cabinets, wet bar, decorative green tile border on the backsplash, and a Dutch door to the patio and yard. Step down into the kitchen which features a large granite-topped center island with a breakfast bar, an eat-in area with a long built-in window seat, and a distinctive wood floor in an attractive pattern. Appliances include a Gourmet Wolf six-burner range and two Dacor wall ovens.
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The kitchen is open to the family room, which has a vaulted ceiling, stone fireplace flanked by built-in cabinets with hand-painted doors, and an archway topped with a keystone. One wall has a door to the patio.
On the second floor, there are five bedrooms. The master sits in a wing of its own and it has vestibule with built-in shelving, a sitting room with window seat, two walk-in closets, and bath with separate marble vanities, a deep soaking tub, and water closet. The opposite wing on this floor has two bedrooms and a full bath. These rooms are easily accessed from the rear stairs and could serve as an au pair suite or staff quarters, as they once did.
The finished third floor has two more bedrooms and a full bath. The landing is large enough for a desk to serve as a homework area.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
ADDRESS: 615 West Road
FEATURES: 1.76-acre level property, generator, wet bar, bluestone terrace, storm windows, front and rear staircases, circular driveway, two fireplaces, fieldstone walls, only minutes from downtown New Canaan and train station, cedar wood roof, plaster walls, well water, shed, detached two-car garage, staff quarters, attic, partially finished basement, seven bedrooms, four full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: West Elementary, Saxe Middle, New Canaan High School
MILL RATE: 16.312 mills
At a recent public open house one woman called this house “enchanting.”