On the Market / A classic Darien house with a modern touch
DARIEN — Three decades after the New Haven Railroad’s first scheduled line came through Darien in 1848 a charming Victorian house was built a short distance away at 35 Mansfield Ave. giving its residents an opportunity to open their employment opportunities.
They could continue to work locally or they could work and play in New York City. More than a century later the residents of this 12-room in-town house have the same opportunity. The train station is only a short walk away, making this house perfect for commuters and those who might want to hop the train for an evening dinner or Broadway show, or both, in Manhattan.
The listing agent for this house points out that, even though the 0.20-acre level property features a detached three-car garage/barn, the owners of this house really don’t even need to have a vehicle. This house is only a block away from Boston Post Road (Route 1) so they can walk to shops, restaurants, Starbucks, the farmers market, school, and other town amenities.
Additionally, the very private backyard backs up to Tilley Pond Park, an 8.5-acre municipal park containing passive recreational features including walking or jogging paths, benches, a garden area, trees, ornamental plantings, and a pond. Tilley Pond supports a variety of wildlife and “serves as an oasis from the busy downtown area. Lovely fountains adorn the pond and decorative lights line the walkways within the park. A stone hut with a fireplace serves as the centerpiece jutting into the water,” according to the town website.
A bluestone path lined in Belgium block leads to the covered wrap-around front porch, which features gingerbread detailing. The front of the property is bordered by seagrasses. Along the house there is a flower bed containing rose bushes and hydrangeas. A long, paved driveway provides access to a parking area behind the house and to the garage, which could use some renovating. This garage could be used as such but it would also make a great art studio, home office, potting shed, “she” shed, or party barn for entertaining.
The light blue clapboard house with dark blue shutters and cream-colored trim was built in 1880 and was updated and renovated in 2005. It still enjoys the charm of a classic house yet with all the conveniences and amenities of a modern home. During that gut renovation project the house received new Marvin windows, a new heating system, new plumbing, new electrical panel and wiring, and three-zoned central air conditioning. The kitchen was updated, and all three bedrooms received California closets. In other words, this Energy Star-rated house is almost like new.
Since that renovation the house has received a new back porch, a back-up electrical panel and wiring to accommodate a portable generator, and a new bluestone patio lined in Belgium block in the backyard. There is also a red brick patio. More recently, its exterior and interior were freshly painted.
ABOUT THIS HOUSE
STYLE: Updated Antique Victorian
ADDRESS: 35 Mansfield Ave.
FEATURES: 0.20-acre level property, Energy Star-rated house, over-sized Marvin insulated windows; in-town location - easy walk to shops, restaurants, and train station; property backs up to Tilley Pond Park, extra insulation, wiring for portable generator, programmable thermostat, 100-gallon hot water tank, skylights, covered wrap-around porch, new patio, professionally landscaped, California closets, cable available, freshly painted exterior and interior, stone foundation, stone wall, detached three-car garage/barn, full unfinished basement, three-zoned central air conditioning, public water and sewer, three bedrooms, two full and one half baths
SCHOOLS: Royle Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High School
MILL RATE: 16.08 mills
A year after its renovation this house was featured in a calendar of local houses. On the page for August 2006, which depicted this house, the information included at the bottom identified it as one of “three little Victorian gingerbread houses that decorate the bottom of Mansfield Avenue.”
Inside, this house has 1,762 square feet of living space on three finished floors. The front door opens into the sizable formal living room, which has a coffered ceiling and thin-planked hardwood floor, and flows into the formal dining room. In the dining room there is also a coffered ceiling as well as a door to the side portion of the wrap-around porch. The dining room is open to the eat-in kitchen, separated only by a peninsular counter that serves as a breakfast bar. The kitchen features granite counters, a wide-planked hardwood floor, a built-in desk area, new stainless appliances, a beverage refrigerator, and a door to the back porch and yard. The eat-in area has a built-in banquette.
On the second floor there are three bedrooms, all with California closets. The master has its own new bath. The hall bath is also newly updated, as is the first floor half bath.
The third floor features a playroom and an office, both with skylights, built-in window seats, and built-in shelving.
For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Gunnar Edelstein of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties at 203-722-2551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.