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August 2006


REAL ESTATE

Deeds & Don'ts

(Page 5 of 10)

The property sold but remained untouched, so Westport has been wondering what would become of it. Here's news: Two high-end "green" mansions will rise along the river with a third "Montana ranch-style" green home built on the island. The Stillman Organization, which is developing the project, estimates that the homes will sell for between $4.5-9 million, the largest of which will include the stone swimming pool and waterfall that Hirsch once enjoyed. Environmentally friendly features include photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity and renewable energy supplied by a ground-source heat pump. The Westport property is just one of Hirsch's apparent attempts to downsize: His 17,000-acre Montana spread is on the market for $21.9 million; his Snowmass estate hit the market last year for $35 million.

Small: The New Big?
It's with a kind of hopefulness that news reports announce a trend toward the smaller house. Yes, it makes all kinds of sense for new home builders to scale back: Smaller homes cost less to construct and furnish, consume fewer resources for their maintenance, expose owners to less risk if/when the market softens, and—practicalities aside—simply feel more like homes (and less like Starwood Resorts). With 3,000-square-feet as a goal, we went looking for gorgeous homes and found very few—and none that have been built within the last 20 years. Is small the new big? Not noticeably, but it might be if more homes looked like these two.

1920s Stone House, Westport
This is the kind of appealing home that compels you to re-route the walk with your dog just so you can pass by it.

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