39 High Street, Farmington – Hartford Courant
In 1934 the country was still in the grips of the Great Depression. However, for people with ample financial resources, it seemed anything could be done, including building this exceptional home on High Street in Farmington Village.
No matter your perspective, this Georgian Colonial is a standout. Set well back from the street, it is majestic with its ivy-covered brick exterior, dual chimneys, slate roof, and long driveway. No exterior detail was overlooked.
That is also true of the interior. “The entry foyer is elegant,” Marla Byrnes, who is handling the sale, said as she pointed out the barrel vaulted ceiling over the front door. Above this entrance is a leaded window with an exterior light fixture embedded in the glazing. “I’ve never seen this detail anywhere else,” she said.
For visitors, the view of the interior from the front door extends to the rear of the home, where large windows highlight the professionally landscaped grounds. At the end of this entry foyer there is a curved stairway to the second floor and a hall that leads to the living room on one side and the formal dining room on the other side. This is one of two ways to access the living room from within the home.
The other access point is from the entry hall through the library, where the woodwork and trim are exceptional and serve as a lasting testament to the highly skilled workers — artisans, really — who built this home. From the pediment over the library’s entrance to the raised paneling, built-in storage and bookcases, and coffered ceiling, the workmanship is flawless. Other highlights of the library include a fireplace, one of seven in the home, and immediate access to one of four half-baths.
The living room runs from the front to rear of the home. It is large and inviting with an oversized fireplace, exceptional trim work that includes crown molding with a dentil accent and French doors at the rear leading to one of the home’s two patios.
The living room, which takes full advantage of natural lighting, is adjacent to the sunroom. “This room is bright, sunlit, and lovely,” said Byrnes, who also noted the sunroom’s marble floor and bay windows.
On the other side of the entry hall is a formal dining room that is clearly able to accommodate large gatherings. In addition to the exceptional care in its trim work, this room features padded fabric walls above the wainscoting and a large, central chandelier.
Adjacent to the dining room is the kitchen. This is yet another room in the house that extends from the front to the rear, which allows it to accommodate a large seating area, a table for informal meals, and a food preparation area that features two separate sinks and professional grade appliances. An island that seats four people has one of the sinks, offers ample workspace, and has one of the kitchen’s two dishwashers. Along the outer wall are the microwave oven, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a commercial grade Wolf range that includes, in addition to the expected surface burners, a griddle and a salamander, which is a highly efficient broiler.
“Don’t forget the beautiful built-in corner cupboards with their glass doors and the circular stairway to the second floor,” Byrnes said, adding, “This is the finest circular staircase I’ve seen. It is a circular staircase to end all circular staircases.” It is also one more testament to the workmanship that is evident throughout this home.
The highlight of the second floor is the primary suite. It is large and inviting, with a tray ceiling, a fireplace that has been converted to gas, and an abundance of rich architectural detail. Its bathroom has been divided into two separate rooms. One holds the commode, a bidet and a sink. The other has a jetted tub, a dual-head shower, and a dual sink vanity, all surrounded by more custom woodwork.
A short hall within the primary suite leads to a large dressing room with a built-in bureau. Its top is ideal for laying out a suitcase when packing for a trip.
An adjacent guest bedroom features a fireplace and a full bath. A short distance away is a second large dressing room with immediate access to a full bath. In all, there are five bedrooms and five full baths. “No one needs to share a bathroom,” Byrnes noted.
The second floor also features a large family room. Its windows look over the in-ground heated pool, a putting green with a sand trap, and ample space for gatherings and a game of croquet. Its Palladian window is a beautiful architectural detail.
The third floor features a ballroom that now serves as a home office on one side and a gym on the other. Separating these two functions is a wall unit with a television screen that can be turned toward either the office or gym. This floor has a kitchenette, half bath and a deck that provides captivating views.
Other highlights include a carriage house with separate living quarters consisting of a kitchen, a dining and seating area, bedroom, and full bath. Below is a four-car garage. A Kohler generator stands ready to provide power when needed. The property abuts the Hillstead Museum.
This is a home that is perfect for daily living and entertaining on a grand scale. Byrnes’ assessment, “This house is simply magnificent,” is an understatement.
39 High Street Farmington
Style: Georgian Colonial
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Baths: 5 full, 4 half
Square footage: 6,882 (7,747 with carriage house apartment)
Mill rate: 28.81
Best feature: This Georgian Colonial is gorgeous, with workmanship that would be difficult to replicate at any price today.
Contact: Marla Byrnes, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, email@example.com, 860-212-4501