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Becky Munro

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Awarded WSJ-REAL Trends 'Best Real Estate Agent in America' List! 2011-2016


Mentioned in this Article:
New York Times

A Stately Summer Retreat In Darien Goes On The Market



A waterfront Mediterranean-style home in Darien, Conn., that was used as a summer retreat for decades by Walter E. Sachs, a grandson of the founder of Goldman Sachs and a partner in the firm, has just gone on the market for $7,950,000. The stately five-bedroom house, purchased by Mr. Sachs in the 1920s, is one of just three properties on a small peninsula that is part of the Delafield Island Association.

A narrow causeway at the end of Delafield Island Road provides access to the house, which is on one and a half acres at the center of the peninsula, in Scott Cove. Mr. Sachs, who was also an original incorporator of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, died in 1980. The Sachs family sold the house in 1994 to its most recent owner, Eugene P. Grisanti, the former chief executive of International Flavors and Fragrances, who renovated the home.

Formerly a “Pepto Bismol” pink, it was repainted a Tuscan gold after its purchase by Mr. Grisanti, who had a deep appreciation for Italian culture, said his daughter, Mary Lee Grisanti. Among his many other additions were painted wall flourishes, classical sculptures and limestone floors.

“He wanted it to be this dream of a beautiful Italian villa,” Ms. Grisanti said. Her father, who served on the boards of the New York City Ballet, the New York Botanical Garden, Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera, died earlier this year.

A terrace along the back of the house faces south toward Long Island Sound. The grounds, with lush lawns and extensive plantings, include 275 feet of frontage facing the Sound, a heated pool, a private beach and a 640-square-foot deepwater dock. The home sits atop a ledge and is not in a flood zone, according to the listing agent, Becky Munro, with Halstead Property.

Mr. Sachs and Virginia Maitland Thompson, his third and last wife, were married at the property, and he held a debutante garden party there for his daughter and her friends. The Grisantis used the home as a year-round residence, and it was often filled with family during the summer, Ms. Grisanti said.

The home’s main entrance is reached through a square loggia with a wall fountain. Off the tiled entry hall, a staircase leads to a two-story sitting room with a fireplace and three sets of arched French doors opening onto the back terrace. The house has a total of six fireplaces. A formal living room is off to one side of the sitting room, with access to both a covered terrace in the back and an enclosed sun porch facing the cove.

At the opposite end of the house is a breakfast room, painted with a grapevine design, and a large formal dining room lined with arched windows. The eat-in kitchen, which is dated, has a large center island and a Thermador six-burner range. A small bedroom and bath, originally intended for the live-in help, are directly off the kitchen.

Up the main staircase to the second floor, a balcony lined with a wrought-iron balustrade looks down into the sitting room and out toward the Sound. The master suite takes up its own wing, with a bedroom facing the Sound, a marble bath with a deep soaking tub and steam shower, a mahogany-paneled study and an office. A photograph of Mr. Grisanti seated beside Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor at a business event was displayed on the desk during a recent visit.

Three additional bedrooms are on the opposite side of the house, each with its own bath. Most of the bath fixtures are well-preserved originals, including a sink designed as a hair-washing station with a curved neck rest.

A separate apartment above the two-car garage has a living area, kitchenette, full bath and a sixth bedroom.

Thursday, June 08, 2017