What could be better than being among Harry Connick Jr.s neighbor? Perhaps being among Paul Simons? If either scenario intrigues you, then Le Beau Chateau in New Canaan might be the estate for you. That is, if the $17 million asking price doesnt make you flinch.
It is one of Fairfield Countys last great estate properties and its sprawling 52 acres of open meadows and gentle streams once belonged to the late copper heiress Huguette M. Clark.
Secluded behind gates and a pine forest, and unoccupied for more than 60 years, the estate sports a grand manor house: Le Beau Château. It is a French châteaustyle residence reminiscent of the mansions in the Loire Valley of France. Built in 1937 by the New York architectural firm Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker, designers of the Art Decostyled Times Square Building and One Wall Street, this 9-bedroom, six full- and three half-bath residence has been remarkably preserved.
The 12,766 square-foot chateau, set in the center of a virtual nature preserve, is a step back in history to the mid-century era, said listing agent Barbara Cleary of Barbara Cleary's Realty Guild.
Things get even more interesting inside: a commanding two-story grand foyer complete with a movie set-like curved staircase commands attention as you walk into the graceful 22-room mansion.
Ornate architectural detail accentuates generously proportioned rooms, all with delicate marble and herringbone floors, 13-foot ceilings and French doors throughout. There is a grand gallery, 11 fireplaces, a full basement, a walk-up attic, an elevator and terrace, as well as a service courtyard for parking cars.
The grand kitchen harkens back to a deluxe grand hotel in New York City, with original and now retro-chic metal cabinetry throughout.
As befitting such a remarkable, historical structure, there is a dramatic story behind it: Beau Château was built with no expense spared in 1937 by a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who sold the estate in 1951. That owner never moved in.
Le Beau Château has now stood unoccupied for decades; it has been maintained by caretakers who live in the propertys two brick gatekeeper cottages.
Perhaps you can be the first occupant of Le Beau Chateau in the better part of a century. It would be a good story to tell your new neighbors, Paul and Harry.
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