By Allison Brophy Champion
Jan 25, 2013
This Georgian estate in Greenwich midcountry is a real show-stopper, featuring at its core an antique barn that’s three stories high.
The hands-down heart of the five-bedroom house, on the market for $6.695 million, is the circa-1820 New Hampshire barn that was transferred to the two-acre site and inserted into the living room of an existing house. The massive rehab took more than a year and involved expansion of the original footprint and addition of a fieldstone and clapboard exterior while integrating the barn’s dramatic architecture and massive roof timbers.
“This house will have you at ‘Hello;’ subtle elegance with a knockout punch,” said listing agent Diddle McAllister with Round Hill Partners. “Seeing it is believing.”
The 5,864-square-foot home is one of the most unique houses in town, she said, a true reflection of the property owners’ vision of adaptive reuse.
“We played with the pieces,” the homeowner told Greenwich magazine in a previous article about the substantial revamp in 2000. “It sounds easy. Take out the middle, put the barn in. But then we had to slide one building back toward the other building so they were lined up; they had all been staggered like steps. But we did 90 percent of the original footprint.”
Once the antique barn was in place, it was covered in a conventional frame and interior touches added to continue the classic feel. The floor in the skylit living room at 50 Zaccheus Mead Lane came from the winnowing room in a Pennsylvania barn and the fireplaces originally warmed a colonial-era house.
Two fireboxes merged to create a large fireplace at the dining end of the living room while the barn’s roof, beams included, was used in the master bedroom.
“It’s great when you can use a whole building,” the homeowner said for the magazine article. “But the alternative is to use the parts.”
The barn-shaped living room provides not just space and warmth, but also light. The wall overlooking Horseneck Creek is glass-paneled to the ceiling. The fireplace walls feature built-in shelves for storage and display while the doors to the first-floor bedroom and kitchen wings are hidden by faux library shelving. The gourmet kitchen is sun-bathed and outfitted with custom cabinets, a center island, recessed lighting and a chrome range.
The house has six bathrooms, four fireplaces, French doors and a first-level family room with a wet bar.
The master wing provides three double bedrooms with ensuite baths and a master suite with dual luxury bathrooms. There’s another double bedroom with a bath and sitting room on the second level.
Grand windows encircle the gorgeous Georgian home overlooking landscaped grounds and a heated pool in a private setting that’s said to reflect the mood and colors of every season. Completing this property is a separate studio/greenhouse on site.
The house is situated on historic Zaccheus Mead Lane which once housed a farm of the same name, an ancestor of Greenwich’s founding Mead family, of England. The farm had been a Mead property since at least the mid-18th century, according to a March 12, 2012 article for the Greenwich Historical Society by Susan Nova at greenwichhistory.org.
Listing agent: Diddle McAllister, Round Hill Partners, 203-861-0050