NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Homes of the Week

June 6, 2014

Manchester estate boasts rich and interesting history

Should you be that person who enjoys “making a grand entrance,” this iconic residence in Manchester-by-the-Sea was seemingly built for you. Boasting an extraordinary Romanesque columned portico from which to do just that and an overall grandeur not seen in the homes of today, this is clearly a “one-of-a-kind” property.

“I call this listing my ‘favorite surprise,’” says Realtor Lynda Surdam of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Manchester. “In all of my years living and working here, I would have never guessed what was behind those walls. The stunning combination of brick and stucco gives the feeling of an old secluded estate, yet it has every modern amenity and is conveniently close to town.”

One of two identical homes connected by the aforementioned entryway, this house was just one piece of a grandiose plan set forth in the early 1920s by the Walker family of Chicago. While the intent was to build a majestic compound complemented by these “lodges,” the idea was unfortunately thwarted by the stock market crash of 1929, leaving the two structures to be sold as single-family homes. Today, after many thoughtful renovations and additions, this home is once again for sale.

Featuring high ceilings, a striking spiral staircase and exquisite crown moldings throughout, the house is architecturally elegant. A gracious foyer with parquette flooring leads the way to formal, yet comfortable, living and dining rooms, each with delicate trims and hardwood floors. A family room is more leisurely, with a wood-burning fireplace, walls of custom shelving adequate for even the most astute reader and easy access to a screened porch.

The aspiring chef is sure to be pleased in the newly added kitchen, well equipped with granite counters, top-of-the-line stainless-steel appliances, built-in window seats, a center island and a generous butler’s pantry. Rounding off this level is one of two master bedroom suites complete with large walk-in closets and a sumptuous master bath. Upstairs, find the second master, three additional bedrooms and recently refurbished baths.

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