One of Westport’s most historically noteworthy houses now on the market
Updated 4:29 pm, Monday, March 20, 2017
WESTPORT — The landscape of Westport has changed in the last decade as more vintage houses are razed and replaced with 10,000-square-foot contemporary colonial mansions.
Efforts are made by local preservationists to save the more significant houses, although not always successfully. One of Westport’s most historically noteworthy houses is now on the market. The Samuel Meeker Homestead, also known as the Schilthius-Meeker House, at 188 Cross Highway, is listed on the town’s Historic Resources Inventory. Its future was in doubt until the current owners worked tirelessly to make sure the house - part of which dates back to 1728, and their converted barn next door were protected in perpetuity.
Zoning regulations in the Hunt Club neighborhood require two-acre lots but the owners successfully campaigned for approval to subdivide their 2.9-acre property into two separate lots and have the properties designated as a historic district. The updated antique colonial sits on a parcel of 1.21 acre.
"This house is a designated landmark. We are very pleased with what they (the owners) did. They worked hard to create a zoning ordinance to sub-divide their two properties into two different lots. It’s so encouraging from a preservation standpoint to realize all that they have done," said Ed Gerber, vice chairman of the Westport Historic District Commission and immediate past president of the Westport Historical Society.
The couple purchased the larger property with the house and barn about a decade ago. It was blighted and abandoned by its previous owner. The couple painstakingly restored, updated and have maintained the structures, all the while being sensitive to their historical integrity. The house that’s on the market is a fascinating mélange of several time periods. One of the owners calls it a representative of "the best of three centuries of architecture." The original part of the house is a pre-Revolutionary saltbox that has a traditional three-sided fieldstone fireplace with a beehive oven, hand-hewn exposed beams and the original wide-plank chestnut floors in a second floor bedroom. A Colonial Revival wing was added in 1929 and then in 1961 a mid-century modern addition was constructed. That section of the house includes the spacious great room with a barrel ceiling and Brazilian cherry floor, the first floor master bedroom suite, and a service bar for entertaining.
Of particular historical note is the original front door, which now serves as an interior door that separates the sizable entrance foyer - or garden room, from a sitting room which was probably the original kitchen because it contains the portion of the fireplace with the beehive oven. More than two centuries later that door still bears evidence of an encounter with British troops in April 1777 and the occupants of the residence. The door is scarred with an indentation from where it was allegedly struck by musket fire as British troops attempted to conscribe its resident during their march to Danbury. Brothers Daniel and Benjamin Meeker were taken as prisoners of war in that encounter.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
*under review since the sub-division
The white clapboard house with colonial blue quarter moon shutters sits back from the road behind a fieldstone wall. The driveway is market by two tall white columns topped with lanterns. The house has 4,539 square feet of living space. The covered front entrance with sidelights opens into the foyer, which has a bluestone floor, half bath, skylight, and two sets of French doors to the first of several bluestone patios and to the backyard.
Despite the age of the original structure this house enjoys a tall ceiling height of at least nine feet. The sitting or living room is open to the formal dining room which also shares the three-sided fireplace, and has exposed beams. The living room has a Dutch door to a covered back porch. The gourmet kitchen by Rose Adams features a Viking Professional four-burner range with griddle, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and a farm sink on the sizable two-tiered wood center island. The upper part of the kitchen has stone flooring. Step down into the breakfast room, which has a wood floor, fireplace, and a Dutch door to the same covered porch.
In the great room there are three sets of French doors to a patio, a barrel ceiling, and a fireplace flanked by doors into the private master suite, which features a fireplace of its own and a door to a private patio. The spacious master bath has hardwood flooring, deep soaking tub, two pedestal sinks and a large shower stall with limestone backsplash. Walk through the walk-in closet to access a small office with a water closet and a service bar room with a wet bar, counter space and shelving for stemware. Perfect for entertaining in the great room and patio. This room could also be used as a morning kitchen for the master suite.
On the second floor there are three more bedrooms. There is a playroom on the third floor, and the walk-out full, partially finished lower level has a workshop and game room.
The listing agent plans to host an open house on Sunday (March 26) from 1-3 pm. Please contact David Kinyon of William Raveis Real Estate at 203-247-0337 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to confirm the open house or for more information about the house.