Photo Credit: Daniel Milstein for Sotheby’s International Realty
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut
Sold For: $138.83 million
Features: 13,519-square-foot main house with eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms.
Added Appeal: 75-foot heated pool and spa and pool house, grass tennis court, three-bedroom gatehouse, two-bedroom carriage house, two greenhouses, two private beaches and walled gardens with century-old apple orchard.
New England, with its picturesque landscapes and rich history, is renowned for its quintessential charm. Nestled amid this idyllic region are magnificent mansions that stand as testaments to a bygone era, where classic elegance and architectural splendor converge. One such example is the Copper Beech Farm estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, which recently sold for an astounding $138.83 million—making it the most expensive sale in the state to-date.
Copper Beech Farm, formerly known as Kincraig, was built in 1898 for industrialist John Hamilton Gourlie. Previous ownership also includes George Lauder, the cousin and financial advisor of Andrew Carnegie, who famously led the expansion of the U.S. steel industry. In 2013, the home was touted as the most expensive listing in the entire country, with a listing price of $190 million, before being sold to the Conservation Institute for $120 million.
With 50 acres of rolling green situated on a private peninsula overlooking Long Island Sound, Copper Beech Farm provides a secluded and tranquil sanctuary. Drive up the 1,800-foot-long entry drive lined with trees and paved with nostalgic cobblestones and take in the home’s Victorian-meets-New England-seaside facade complete with two stone towers dressing the front entrance. The home’s interior evokes the French-Renaissance style, beautifully restored and adorned with museum-quality fixtures such as oak paneling, plaster friezes, handsome fireplaces and 12-foot ceilings in the main rooms. Almost all the rooms in the home showcase spectacular water views, perfect for all seasons. Life in the crown jewel of Greenwich boasts modern comforts with remnants of its cherished past, which includes wistful and original milking stalls that hark back to the era when it housed livestock.
RISMedia spoke to Leslie McElwreath of Sotheby’s International Realty, who co-listed the property alongside Joseph Barbieri in collaboration with Nikki Field of Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage. Here, McElwreath shares how the mansion has retained its historic grandeur over the years.
Joey Macari: What makes this a Great Space?
Leslie McElwreath: Copper Beech Farm is not only a great space, it’s an extraordinary space. The manor home is situated amidst 50 acres of bucolic land hugging the shoreline of Long Island Sound. The property boasts almost one mile of coastline inclusive of two small private islands. Not only is this a significant amount of land for a Greenwich estate, but the fact that it is direct waterfront has made it an unprecedented and singular opportunity.
JM: How has the property retained its historical value and unparalleled opulence over the years?
LM: The main residence at Copper Beech Farm was tastefully restored and renovated. It is remarkable to find a 100-year-old home with the majority of the original historic features intact. The home features the original plaster tracery ceilings, the handsome oak paneling and millwork, and a dramatic stairway that spans three floors. All of the restoration and renovation was designed to enhance and showcase the original details. Any changes were done with the goal of preserving the history of this great Greenwich estate. As with many country estates, there are multiple outbuildings. There’s a three-bedroom gatehouse, multiple greenhouses and a carriage house with a groomsman apartment above. My favorite is the whimsical octagonal bathhouse with original painted murals overlooking a peaceful, private beach.
JM: How does the experience of working with a luxury buyer differ from working with other demographics?
LM: The luxury buyer tends to be a savvy and sophisticated real estate investor. They tend to own multiple properties, and any purchase must fit into an existing real estate portfolio. The luxury buyer is looking for high quality on every front: location, lot, amenities and condition. They will not settle for ordinary. They are looking for extraordinary.
JM: What does the luxury real estate market currently look like in your area?
LM: COVID has helped the world discover what us Greenwich locals have always known: Greenwich affords a truly world-class quality of life. As a result, we have more luxury buyers looking to purchase in Greenwich than ever before. We have buyers coming from across the country and around the world.
JM: What are homebuyers in your price point looking for? What’s important to them?
LM: Today’s buyer wants quality and will not settle when it comes to the key real estate criteria: the lot, the location and the potential of the overall purchase. Working with a local expert will allow them to make an educated purchase. RE
For more information, please visit https://www.sothebysrealty.com.