Originally built in 1904, “Orient Lodge” is a restored Arts and Crafts compound on Saw Mill Pond that looks like it belongs on an Adirondack lake. The original 40-acre lot housed a saw and grist mill, dating from 1825. Legend has it that the owner cut down chestnut trees on the site to build the house. The lot has since been reduced to just over two acres but it still has an estate feel and is now up for sale asking $1,950,000 (h/t CIRCA). Not only will that get you the three-story main house–which has been fittingly outfitted with historic Asian features–but a detached two-car garage with deck, a separate cottage, and the original landscaping.
Located at 247 Old Long Ridge Road in the bucolic Long Ridge Village Historic District in North Stamford, the current owners, Bill and Susie Bretschger, bought the home in 2008 and restored it to its former glory.
When they purchased the property from foreclosure, it was only occupied by groundhogs, chipmunks, and bats. Bill Bretschger said, “A lot of people are intimidated trying to analyze the structural nature of early homes. There are still certain parts of this structure where I wonder about the calculations that were done and how it was achieved, but it’s hard to fight with the fact that it’s survived so long.”
The Bretschgers kept as many of the original details as they could. But in the process of modernizing the home, they found they could not run wiring through the massive logs, so they ran it through the flooring. And after discovering that installing central air-conditioning was close to impossible, they created air flow with about 30 fans.
Orient Lodge is a sprawling compound with a 7,000-square-foot, three-story main house containing five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a two-car detached garage. There is also a separate cottage dating back to the original sawmill which was converted to a carriage house with stables and now contains a 2,000-square-foot apartment above a two-car garage/workshop. The stables still remain in the lower level.
The main house features a 20×30 great room with 25-foot beamed, vaulted ceilings, exposed log walls, and an original floor-to-ceiling river rock fireplace. The magnificent fireplace has the phrase “Here ends the road that leads to all good comfort” etched into the mantle in gold letters. A scene from the 2008 movie “Gigantic” with Ed Asner, Zooey Deschanel, and John Goodman was filmed in this great room and featured Asner in front of the fireplace.
Another fireplace in the dining room has the phrase “The honor of the house is hospitality” inscribed on the mantle.
Oriental features that were popular during the Arts and Crafts movement are prominent throughout the house. They include ornate gold leaf doors between the living and dining rooms, oriental fretwork, hand carved wood screens and etched windows depicting scenes of Asian countryside. There are even the original swastika decorations throughout the house which, before World War II, were associated with religious icons from the Asian culture as symbols of prosperity and good luck.
On the lower level, the original carriage loading dock remains with massive doors that open to stunning views of the pond.
There are also original landscape features, including river rock gardens, stone walls, and an Asian- style artesian well.
- Mod Connecticut home built for an original ‘Mad Men’ exec asks under $1M
- Live inside a windmill in Montauk for $1.9M
- Fogarty Finger transforms a former Jersey City propeller factory into a beautiful single-family home
Photos courtesy of William Raveis