These famous homes in Connecticut were on the market in 2021

The Connecticut real estate market in 2021 was one to be remembered. Home sales in Connecticut were up, inventory went down and median home sale prices increased. In the midst of the market pandemonium were several properties that made headlines not because of their sale prices, but because of their famous owners. 

From a flipped home sold by a former “Real Housewives of New York” star to an estate owned by an Italian opera singer, these are the celebrity homes in Connecticut that were on the market in 2021. 

April 2021 – Sold
Bethenny Frankel lists flipped Greenwich house

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Bethenny Frankel is seen on November 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Bethenny Frankel is seen on November 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

In April, “Real Housewives of New York” alum and business mogul Bethenny Frankel put her Greenwich house on the market following renovations. Frankel, who bought the house at 40 Pecksland Dr. last year, a spokesperson confirmed, listed the house for $3,375,000 —  a $125,000 increase from its last listing price.

The five-bedroom, five-bathroom home had an upgraded kitchen, a mud room, new lighting, a “glam room.” 

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April 2021 – Sold
Greenwich home said to be birthplace of Oreos listed for $15.9M

Sandwich cookies with cream on white background

Sandwich cookies with cream on white background

HONG VO/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Listed in April for $15.9 million, the home at 78 Mayo Ave. in Greenwich's Belle Haven neighborhood is more than just its six bedrooms or seven full bathrooms. 

According to John McAtee, managing partner of the New England Land Company and listing agent on the 125-year-old Queen Anne Victorian property, the 2018 book “Victorian Summer: The Historic Houses of Belle Haven Park,” shows some of the original properties built in the area between the late 1800s and early 1900s. The 78 Mayo Ave. home is profiled as the “Hutchins Cottage,” and the chronology outlined in the book is, for McAtee, enough to suggest that this Belle Haven home was the birthplace of at least one of two now-famed products: Barnum Animal Crackers and Oreos.

“There’s a little lore that this is where that genesis and the creativity has come from: living in that house,” McAtee said.

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April 2021 - Still for sale
Estate of ‘Happy Days’ producers listed in CT for almost $18M

The home at 57 Mt. Tom Road in Simsbury, Conn., the former estate of television producers Thomas Miller and Robert Boyett. 

The home at 57 Mt. Tom Road in Simsbury, Conn., the former estate of television producers Thomas Miller and Robert Boyett. 

Anne Day Photography

The Salisbury home of the two of the minds behind "Happy Days" and other hits like "Full House" and "Family Matters" was listed for sale in 2021. 

Located at 57 Mt. Tom Road, the former estate of producers Thomas Miller, who died in April 2020, and his partner, Robert Boyett, was listed in April for $17,950,000. The 22,282 square-foot country home features nine bedrooms, 10 full bathrooms and four partial bathrooms, all situated on 474 acres of land. Built in 2002, the home was constructed by Acheson Doyle Partners Architects, which also completed St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, the penthouse residence of the Plaza Hotel and the Liberty Island Pavilion near the Statue of Liberty in New York. 

The entry to the home features a grand staircase and opens up to a “dramatic 39-foot-long formal dining space with a soaring 32-foot-tall (3 story) glass atrium ceiling,” the listing notes. The interior of the home is completed by a great room, according to the listing, as well as a library, a movie viewing room a “chef's kitchen with a large butler's pantry.” 

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April 2021 - Still for sale
Tennis legend’s CT home listed for nearly $16.5M

OTB Open Tennis Tournament, Schenectady, New York - Ivan Lendl stretches for the big forehand return of serve against Tommy Enqvist. August 27, Undated (James Goolsby/Times Union Archive)
OTB Open Tennis Tournament, Schenectady, New York - Ivan Lendl stretches for the big forehand return of serve against Tommy Enqvist. August 27, Undated (James Goolsby/Times Union Archive)
James Goolsby/Times Union Historic Images

Listed for $16,450,000 in April, the Georgian Federal-style estate at 400 5 ½ Mile Road owned by Czech-American tennis player Ivan Lendl not only has a tennis court on the property, but also a full-sized gymnasium and basketball court, according to the listing. Allan Greenberg, the architectural firm behind the Embassy of Luxembourg and the Supreme Court Historical Society in Washington, D.C., designed the home for Lendl, which was completed in 1992. 

While the exterior of the home also features horse paddocks and a barn, the listing notes that the main house offers 18,000 square feet of living space with 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and three half bathrooms. The home has a library, living room, family room and formal dining room, as well as a “trophy room” and “eat-in chef’s kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances and butler’s pantry,” according to the listing.

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June 2021 - Still for sale
Waterfront 1940s estate in Connecticut built for ‘Town & Country’ editor listed for $4.2M

The home on 32 Doane Road in Deep River, Conn., which was originally built in the late 1940s for society photographer Jerome Zerbe.  

The home on 32 Doane Road in Deep River, Conn., which was originally built in the late 1940s for society photographer Jerome Zerbe.  

Lanny Nagler

The home on 32 Doane Road in Deep River looks out over the Connecticut River, but the interior of the house looks more like France than it does New England.

Built in a French style, the five-bedroom and five-bathroom home was originally built in 1949 for society photographer Jerome Zerbe, and it’s currently on the market for $4.295 million, according to its listing. Zerbe graduated from Yale University in 1928 and went on to become an international society photographer, according to The New York Times; he was also the society editor for Town & Country magazine during the time he lived in the Deep River home.

The home, known as “Windsong,” sits on 260 feet of “elevated frontage” on the lower Connecticut River and sits on almost 4 acres of land, according to the listing. The property features “classic French allée style” gardens, the listing notes, which include pear and linden trees, as well as boxwood hedgerows and other formal gardens. 

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July 2021 – Still for sale
Ridgefield Estate of Vanderbilt heiress listed for $3.25M

The spiral staircase in the home on 17 Rippowam Road in Ridgefield, Conn. was a custom-designed feature added to the property by its current owners, according to the listing. 

The spiral staircase in the home on 17 Rippowam Road in Ridgefield, Conn. was a custom-designed feature added to the property by its current owners, according to the listing. 

Karen Amendola / Contributed Photo

Called Iradell Farm, the Georgian Colonial home on 17 Rippowam Road once belonged to Consuelo Vanderbilt, the great great-granddaughter of shipping tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, according to The Washington Post. She was later married to N. Clarkson Earl Jr., an “executive with the Howard Johnson and Childs restaurant chains.” She was also the daughter of William Kassam Vanderbilt II, who The Washington Post notes was president of the New York Central Railroad. 

Vanderbilt lived in the home until her death in 2011, and while Realtor.com showed that the home was last sold in 2015 for $1.25 million, it came back on the market in 2021 for $3.245 million. The listing notes that the home has been “restored, renovated and expanded” since the heiress owned the property, but inside are original details such as the paneled walls of the drawing room, which were “relocated from the Vanderbilt yacht in the 1940s and enhanced by a custom designed spiral stair by the present owners.”

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Aug. 2021 – Still for sale
Mark Twain’s final home in Redding listed for $4.2M

The estate on 30 Mark Twain Lane in Redding, Conn. has nearly 30 acres of land that sits adjacent to 161 acres of Redding Land Trust. 

The estate on 30 Mark Twain Lane in Redding, Conn. has nearly 30 acres of land that sits adjacent to 161 acres of Redding Land Trust. 

Aerial 360 Solutions / Contributed Photo

Known as “Stormfield,” the Tuscan villa-style home situated on almost 30 acres of land in Redding was built as the final home of Mark Twain, and was on the market in August for $4.2 million. The listing notes the home’s name was inspired by Twain’s short story, “Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven,” and is located next to 161 acres of Redding Land Trust. 

Inside the 6,300 square-foot home are four bedrooms and five full bathrooms, as well as a living room with a “hand-painted coffered ceiling,” a full dining room and a library. 

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Sept. 2021 - Still for sale
Bigelow ‘tea chest’ inventor’s former CT estate and car lounge listed for $1.7M

The home on 30 Crossbow Lane in Easton, Conn.  sits on 3 acres of land, and has six bedrooms and five full bathrooms. 

The home on 30 Crossbow Lane in Easton, Conn.  sits on 3 acres of land, and has six bedrooms and five full bathrooms. 

CT Plans Photography / Contributed Photo

Nicknamed “La Dolce Vita,” or “the sweet life,” the Mediterranean-style “trophy estate” on 30 Crosssbow Lane in Easton was previously owned by Arnold D’Angelo, the late entrepreneur who once worked for Bigelow tea’s food service division. In his time with Bigelow, D’Angelo was a "big driver of the Bigelow tea chest," the tea company confirmed, which is often found in hotels and restaurants. D’Angelo also went on to found his own marketing and distributing firm called IMS, according to Candy Industry, which also worked with co-branded Land O’Lakes and Arizona Iced Tea products. 

D’Angelo’s custom-built home, on the market for $1.725 million this year, has six bedrooms and five full bathrooms and is “destined for the next sophisticated travel and car enthusiast,” according to the listing. According to listing agent Carol Langeland, D'Angelo was a car collector, and he included additional living space in the garage, which has space for five cars and a “crew pit lounge” that’s outfitted with a television and a seating area. 

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Oct. 2021 – Still for sale
Italian opera singer’s Connecticut property listed for $12.6 million

The home on 91 Sergio Franchi Drive in Stonington, Conn. was previously owned by famed Italian opera singer, Sergio Franchi. 

The home on 91 Sergio Franchi Drive in Stonington, Conn. was previously owned by famed Italian opera singer, Sergio Franchi. 

Dennis Carbo Photography / Contributed Photo

It was the site of countless outdoor concerts and the host of dignitaries and politicians alike, but there's more to the story of a Georgian Colonial on the market in Stonington.

The street where this sprawling estate sits is named after the owner. Located on 91 Sergio Franchi Drive, the property is owned by the family of Sergio Franchi, a late Italian opera singer known for his resounding tenor voice. Franchi was one of the most frequent guests on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” according to the show’s archival website, and a week after his debut, Franchi opened his American tour at Carnegie Hall and gave a whole concert without a microphone.

The estate was listed this year for $12.6 million after Eva Franchi purchased a home in Beverly Hills to be closer to her family. Considered the largest property in Stonington, the 240-acre estate contains five houses with a 19th-century Colonial as its main residence. Inside the 6,300 square-foot main residence are seven bedrooms and several formal living and dining spaces. 

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Nov. 2021 - Still for sale
Westport home crafted by designer of Gershwin Theatre listed for $1.5M

One of the living spaces in the home on 7 Bayberry Ridge Road in Westport, Conn. 

One of the living spaces in the home on 7 Bayberry Ridge Road in Westport, Conn. 

John Caropreso for Coldwell Banker / Contributed Photo

Listed in November for nearly $1.5 million, the home on 7 Bayberry Ridge Road in Westport was designed by architect Ralph Alswang, according to Coldwell Banker listing agent Erin Melson. Alswang was a Broadway scenic designer for productions such as “The Rainmaker,” “Peter Pan,” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” according to the New York Times, before switching careers to design whole theaters instead of just sets. 

Alswang created Theater Planning Associates, the Times noted, under which he designed Broadway’s Uris Theatre. According to Broadway website Playbill.com, the theater was designed in an “Art Noveau” style and opened in 1972 before it was renamed in 1983 after composer George Gershwin. 

The home has additional ties to pieces of American culture. Melson said in an email that the Bayberry Ridge Road home was custom-built by Alswang for the Knopf publishing family. The family created the Alfred A. Knopf publishing house in 1915, according to the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group website, and has published works from authors including Toni Morrison, John Updike and Julia Child. Town of Westport property records indicate the home was originally owned by Alfred Knopf, Jr. and sold only once in 1999. 

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Dec. 2021 - Still for sale
Stamford log cabin owned by Mt. Rushmore sculptor listed for over $1M

The great room in the home on 400 Wire Mill Road in Stamford, Conn. 

The great room in the home on 400 Wire Mill Road in Stamford, Conn. 

Chris Shaffer, Hudson Creative Productions / Contributed Photo

The log cabin on 400 Wire Mill Road in Stamford was previously owned by Gutzon Borglum, one of the sculptors of Mount Rushmore. Borglum owned most of the land surrounding what is now Wire Mill Road in the early 1900s. According to the National Parks Service, Borglum had a primary house and a studio in the area with his second wife, Mary Montgomery Borglum. Borglum was in the design stages of Mount Rushmore while working from his Stamford studio in the early 1930s, and just off Wire Mill Road is a street named after the sculptor and designer. 

According to William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty listing agent Karen Sheftell, the current owner of the property told her that Borglum likely lived in the cabin at one time, and he "owned about 350 acres of land around Studio Road and Wire Mill Road that spanned both sides of the Merritt Parkway."

Listed in December for just over $1 million, the 2,000 square-foot cabin has a two-story great room with a stone fireplace, the listing notes, which is the original part of the home. The logs on the exterior of this part of the home were restored by hand by one of the previous owners, who also added insulation to the walls, Sheftell noted. Other features include a remodeled kitchen with cathedral ceilings and a “heated commode” that Sheftell said is a $12,000 toilet. 

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