The Westport estate has a wine cellar converted into an air raid shelter

WESTPORT – In the late 1930s, John B. Warnock, a successful Brooklyn businessman who had made his fortune in the sugar business, purchased several plots on North Avenue, assembling a 26-acre family complex to share with his wife and two married couples. girls.

Warnock and his wife moved the household into the existing Wisteria Court and his daughter, Evelyn Zinke, and her family built a house called Pippin Hill, according to a story written by Carol Randel of the Westport Historical Society.

The youngest daughter, Arline, and her family built the house at 5 Northside Lane, nicknamed it Staffordshire Hall, according to history.

Visscher and Burley – a notable New York architectural firm that had designed estates in Fairfield County, several buildings at Lehigh University and Norwalk High School – took charge of the project, creating the stately home from stone quarried directly on the property.

The architects were inspired by Montpellier, the Virginia residence of James Madison.

One of its most unusual features was the basement. Arline’s husband, Donald Strachan, was a lawyer who had served as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and had fought in World War I, Randel wrote.

“One of the ways that Strachan’s military concerns were felt in the design is that he converted what was to be the wine cellar into a steel-lined bomb shelter,” Randel wrote.


STYLE: Colonial / European

ADDRESS: 5 Northside Lane, Westport

PRICE: $ 3,250,000


FEATURES: European-style estate on 2.73 acres with five bedrooms, inground pool with fountains and spa, balcony, French doors, fruit trees, fireplaces, inlaid hardwood floors, chandeliers, pantry, patio, central air conditioning , security system and three-car garage

SCHOOLS: Coleytown, Bedford, Staples

EVALUATION: $ 1,276,300

MILL RATE: 16,710

TAXES: $ 21,326

In 1952, the Strachans sold the house to Barbara and Stanley Joseloff, parents of Gordon Joseloff, the Emmy-winning journalist and former Westport First Selectman. A subsequent resident was broadcaster Win Elliott, the voice of the New York Rangers, Randel wrote.

The house is arguably one of Westport’s most important estates, said listing agent Julia Broder of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

There is “nothing like it in Westport,” she said. “The construction and quality of this residence cannot be replaced – from the great architecture to all the native stone quarried on this land for the house by Italian masons.”

The massive entrance hall / living room creates a strong impression anchored as it is by a stone fireplace and sporting inlaid hardwood floors, chandeliers and other architectural elements. The dining area features ornate details and a butler’s pantry leading to the neoclassical designer kitchen with all updated appliances.

An office / library offers a wet bar and built-in furniture and opens to the family room with a native stone fireplace. Outside is a patio overlooking the inground pool with fountains and spa.

The master suite has a marble bathroom with spa facilities, a walk-in closet and living room as well as a balcony overlooking the park and the swimming pool. Four additional bedrooms and two full bathrooms and a laundry room complete the second floor.

The lower level on one level offers another utility room and a living space with kitchen that can accommodate an au pair, in-laws or provide a pool area.

This house is on the market for $ 3.25 million.

For more details, contact Julia Broder of Coldwell Banker Real Estate at 203-247-7500 or [email protected]

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