NEW CANAAN — The owners of the Colonial house at 85 Harrison Ave. think they have one of the best houses in the best locations in town. That opinion is shared by many of the local teenagers who befriended their children. Theirs was considered the “hang out” house, and no wonder.

This 6,304-square-foot house has plenty of space for activities inside, but what the teens especially enjoyed was the backyard, where there is a heated in-ground swimming pool, a large wood deck, a tiered stone patio and, of most importance, an outdoor fireplace.

On many summer nights, and especially in the autumn, the kids would sit around the fire in the private backyard, toast marshmallows and talk. They genuinely wanted to spend time there, and it gave the parents a sense of calm knowing where their children were. And come winter, when there was snow on the ground, the kids loved riding sleds, real or improvised, down the sloping parts of the yard. The level portions are suitable for badminton and other activities.

It really is a great family property, and a great entertaining space, not just for children, but for adults, as well. The full finished walk-out lower level has a wine cellar and tasting room, a sitting area with a fireplace, and areas for a billiard table, play area, plenty of storage and then some. One of the walls in this basement is plumbed for a kitchen.

The house was built in 2004 on just over a half an acre in a place that’s walking distance to schools, and downtown New Canaan with its shops, restaurants and train station is only about a half-mile away.

The L-shaped house creates an ample area for visitors’ parking, and there is a two-car attached garage with living space above. The covered front entrance opens to the two-story foyer. Inside, the house has 12 rooms on four finished levels, three of which — the basement, main level and second floor, can be accessed by an elevator.

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In the formal living room, which looks like a page from a high-end home décor magazine, there is a fireplace with a black granite surround. Off the living room is an office, which can also be accessed from the family room. The formal dining room has paneling on the lower walls.

The family room has a fireplace and is open to the large gourmet kitchen, which features a hardwood floor, large center island, honed granite counters, a tumbled marble backsplash, and an eat-in area with French doors to a large wood deck. Appliances include separate Thermador refrigerator and freezer, and a Viking Professional six-burner range.

On the second floor there is a spacious landing large enough to serve as another room. It could be a homework area. The current family has it set up as a media center with a comfy sofa and television cabinet.

There are four bedrooms on this level. The master suite has its own separate wing down a long hallway, where there is a window seat, built-in bookshelves, laundry room and rear stairs to the main-floor mudroom.

More Information


STYLE: Colonial

ADDRESS: 85 Harrison Ave.

PRICE: $3,265,000


FEATURES: elevator, heated in-ground swimming pool, generator, 0.52-acre level and sloping property, fenced property, wine cellar and tasting room, five fireplaces including one outdoors, exterior lighting, large slate patio, large wood deck, shed, front and rear staircases, thermal windows, central vacuuming, two-car attached garage, walk to schools and downtown shops and train, six-zoned gas heat, wood roof, walk-out lower level, professional manicured gardens, irrigation system, exterior lighting, five bedrooms, six full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: South Elementary, Saxe Middle, New Canaan High

MILL RATE: 16.312 mills

TAXES: $31,205

Two of the bedrooms share a Jack-and- Jill-style bath and the fourth one is en suite.

The third floor has flexible use, including as a guest suite as there is a full bath. It has wall-to-wall carpeting.

There will be several opportunities to view the house at open house events on Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m., and the following weekend on Nov. 5, from 1 to 3 p.m., and Nov. 6, from 1 to 4 p.m.

For information or to make an appointment to see the house, contact Kelly DeFrancesco of William Raveis Real Estate at 203-667-4074 or kelly.defrancesco