AP NEWS

$6.5M home in Khakum Wood exudes the style of the ‘Country Life’

February 28, 2019

GREENWICH — In the early 1900s, Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes had a vision.

An architect from a wealthy old New York family, as well as social reformer who sought to improve housing conditions for the poor, Stokes saw the landscape around Round Hill Road in Greenwich as an ideal location for gracious homes and the epitome of country life.

Stokes bought the original W. A. Husted farm in backcountry Greenwich, then contracted with the Olmsted Brothers’ landscape design firm to create the layout for a residential development that came to be known as Khakum Wood. The firm was founded by the co-designer of Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted, and maintained his design concepts.

For the first house in the development, at 76 Khakum Wood Road, architect Julius Gregory created a model home in 1928, which was intended to show off the gently rolling woodlands centered around a lake. Fashioned in the Tudor style, the house was a called a “trendsetter” at the time, and was featured in the pages of a 1930 edition of Country Life magazine. It was heralded as the height of stylish accommodations in a rural setting.

The house is significant to the local heritage. “Both the house and the entire district of Khakum Wood are significant to the history of Greenwich,” the Greenwich Historical Society wrote of the residence when it was given a plaque for historical significance in 2006.

The house has been well preserved by its current owner, Paula Timmerman, who recently put it on the market. “Throughout the interior, original detailing, including slate flooring, carved stone fireplaces, paneling and intricate brass window and door hardware are intact,” the historical society wrote when it profiled the home.

The views are impressive from virtually every corner of the residence. The Olmsted firm accentuated the views of natural rock outcroppings and circular roadways. The site was planted with mountain laurel, dogwood, azaleas and evergreens, with the lake as the centerpiece of the development, another Olmsted touch.

Visitors to the house say they would happily wash dishes in the pantry of the home, which has a stunning view of the lake, said the agent for the property, Sabine Schoenberg.

“The house was designed so that every room has a view of the lake,” said Schoenberg. “It was designed to show what life in the country was all about. ... And nothing’s been changed. Good design lasts through the ages.”

The house exudes a certain 1920s-era glamour, including dormer windows, hand-hewn timber trim, a dramatic staircase lined with oak and a cozy library. There are also some eccentricities, such as the installation of 15 bathrooms, an oddity that no one seems able to explain.

One of the most glamorous pools in Greenwich is also on the property. Built on a stone foundation and lined with local flagstones, it looks like the pool where Jay Gatsby may have swam his final lap.

There’s also a little guest cottage adjoining the home, ideal for visitors or live-in help.

Schoenberg and other residents of the Khakum Wood association are hoping a buyer steps forward who will cherish the home’s unique history. “We’re hoping it’s a ‘trendsetter’ for the next 100 years,” she said.

The $6.595 million listing is being handled through PrimeSitesCT.