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July/August 2010


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REAL ESTATE

Deeds & Don'ts
By Lily Oliver

INSIDE STORIES BEHIND AREA
REAL ESTATE DEALS

Brokers we know are breathing a sigh of relief. Even though sales activity has fallen into its typical summer slumber, experts now say that the worst of times are well behind us—and that our local real estate markets officially bottomed out at some point during the spring and summer months of 2009. So enjoy these spectacular listings, combining the best that both the Connecticut and Westchester markets have to offer. See you in September!

CONNECTICUT

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FREE SWIM (click photo for larger view)

Le Petit Trianon Deux
$39 million
Greenwich

It's not often that a Realtor can get away with likening a listing to Versailles. But in the case of this Round Hill, circa-1913 estate, we'll have to agree. Story goes that Laura Robinson, heiress to the Diamond Match and Goodyear Tire fortunes, requested permission from the French government to replicate the Le Petit Trianon, the "small" chateau Louis XV built for his mistress Madame de Pompadour on the Versailles grounds. When the powers-that-be said yes, New York architects J. Edwin R. Carpenter and Walter Blair took the better part of three years to complete what would be dubbed Le Petit Trianon Deux—which is now on the market for the first time in four decades. One of the town's most expensive listings, the elegant 12,000-square-foot residence has it all: 18 acres, a pool, fountains, a private boulevard-style approach shaded by an allée of trees, tennis courts, stables, a greenhouse, staff quarters and a charming, two-bedroom guest house. It's listed with Brad Hvolbeck of Brad Hvolbeck Real Estate, affiliated with Prudential Realty, (203) 940-0015.

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LITCHFIELD LUXURY (click photo for larger view)

Avalon Farms
$8,950,000
Litchfield

Built in 1908 for heiress Isabella Douglas Curtis, this stone manor house was designed by architect Wilson Eyre, who is credited with bringing the English country style to America both in stone and in print—he was also one of the founders of House & Garden magazine. The approach to the home is worthy of a Merchant & Ivory movie set during a much more gracious era than ours: the 210-acre estate starts with imposing iron gates and a gracious allée of trees and also offers expansive fields, quaint stone bridges, horse paddocks, a stone pergola and garden house, not to mention a 70-foot pool. The 10,000-plus-square-foot interiors have been beautifully restored, including a just-completed renovation of the kitchen that now features double Sub-Zero refrigerators, a butler's panty and a breakfast room. There are five en suite bedrooms, nine fireplaces and servants' quarters that house an additional four bedrooms. It's listed with Stacey Matthews at William Raveis Real Estate in Washington Depot, (860) 868-9066.

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