A house divided thrives
FAIRFIELD — Much like a child growing up and leaving the nest, the house at 401 Old Post Road needed to break free from its roots and see the world. Or, at least, see what the world was a like a few feet down the road.
The elegant 2,240-square-foot Colonial, now listed for sale at $949,000, was originally built in 1880, as part of a larger house at 415 Old Post Road. But in 1976, the choice was made to remove the rear section of the house and create a new home out of it.
According to a Bridgeport Sunday Post article from March 1976, the unusual decision was made because the home had become a problem for Fairfield’s then relatively new historic district commission.
“It is too large to be manageable for a single family,” read the article. “Various proposals, including tearing it down and constructing new houses or condominiums on the land, have been made.”
But the historic district commission rejected those proposals, because they “would not be in keeping with the historic character of the Old Post Road.”
Separating the house into two was considering the most viable solution, as it created two homes that were more manageable in size than the original mothership, and maintained the character of both homes, as well as the area itself.
Today, 401 Old Post Road sits next door to its former “parent” house at 415 Old Post. And, decades after it was detached and moved, 401 still has much of its original features and feel, said listing agent Ellen Fusco.
It includes a long, gated driveway that leads up to the house, and an old-fashioned porte-cochere entrance, held up with columns and red brick. The house also has 11-foot ceilings on the first and second floors, which Fusco said is somewhat unusual, as well as period moldings and gigantic windows.
It also has a large gas fireplace with a wooden mantle — relocated, with chimney, from the other house, Fusco said — and sits on .84 acres of property, decorating with sweeping copper beech, magnolia and other trees.
“This house really isn’t like your typical, modern-day house,” said Sean Ingram, whose parents own the home.
There are some near-modern touches, such as the quaint, cozy 1970s kitchen — complete with pale yellow cabinets — nestled between two of the main downstairs rooms.
The house has three bedrooms, two and a half baths, hardwood floors throughout, a walk-up attic and a full, unfinished basement. Its unusual history might give it a unique feel, but that’s part of its charm, Ingram said.
“I really love this house,” he said.
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