World-renowned pianist Frederic Chiu and award-winning sculptor Jeanine Esposito are listing their Westport, Conn., property, which comes with an actual dose of historical past, for $2.59 million.
The Colonial Revival, at 52 Weston Road, dates to 1806. At 9,700 sq. ft, it comes with seven bedrooms and sits on 2.63 acres.
From 1826 to 1889, the property was half of a bigger property owned by a banker named Morris Ketchum; it was then often called the Hockanum property. Correspondence between Ketchum and Abraham Lincoln offers a glimpse of the latter visiting its grounds — and it additionally seems doubtless that George Washington held a Revolutionary War fundraising meeting there or close by. Local lore, undocumented, additionally has Rock Hudson and Buffalo Bill passing by. What’s for sure: Frederick Law Olmsted, the co-creator of Central Park, additionally visited.
Beyond historical past, the grounds include mature specimen timber, together with a number of that have been reportedly “extras” from Olmsted’s Central Park project, together with a 400-year-old copper beech — considered one of solely 4 within the state. The property additionally consists of tall cypress timber and a Kentucky yellowwood which might be “very rare, especially in Connecticut,” Esposito advised Gimme Shelter.
The predominant home includes a rounded music room, a proper eating room, a chef’s kitchen — and a predominant bed room suite with curved partitions and a balcony overlooking the gardens. Original particulars embody vintage large plank flooring — from an 18th-century farmhouse — and 4 fireplaces. There’s additionally a 2,000-square-foot carriage home, that includes one bed room, one lavatory and beamed ceilings, which is zoned as a authorized rental.
There’s additionally a 350-square-foot studio constructing with a full tub that is like a “small hotel room suite,” Esposito mentioned. The grounds additionally embody loads of room to build a pool.
The homeowners purchased the property for $1.5 million in 2011. The residence has additionally been home, for the previous 12 years, to their community-based nonprofit Beechwood Arts and Innovation. It’s where they’ve hosted greater than 100 “arts-immersion salons” to showcase artists and performers, together with Grammy Award-winning Joshua Bell, who is one of many artists to autograph the “singing wall” within the breakfast room.
Esposito tells Gimme that the couple is staying in Connecticut, close to Westport, and “continuing to run Beechwood Arts and Innovation.”
“Frederic is starting to travel a lot again with concerts, judging competitions and teaching full time at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and the Hartt School in Hartford — and I am a 35-year innovation consultant and also traveling, so we are having fewer events at Beechwood and need more flexible spaces to live in to accommodate that,” she added. Beechwood, she added, “is a truly magical place where so much has been shared artistically and community connection wise — and it is bittersweet to leave.”
The itemizing dealer is Cyd Hamer, of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.