NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Homes of the Week

August 23, 2013

Majestic village estate in the heart of Rockport

Legend has it that Dr. John Sanborn, protégé of Daniel Webster, amassed his fortune by carrying gold for the Pony Express across the great divide for his mentor. Whether he was paid handsomely or simply invested well, Sanborn did a fine job of transforming his earnings into what is today, a notable Rockport landmark. Over the years, renovations have paid careful attention to its circa 1866 features so that today, this historic mansard Colonial looks as though it has been plucked from the pages of a story book.

“This estate has been restored to the utmost perfection, reflecting its original grandeur,” says Realtor George Kauss of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “The (current) owners have made many improvements yet it still possesses all of the charm of a period home.”

A nod to its 19th century roots, stunning exterior details include bracketed cornices, copper gutters and eye brows, a fish scale slate roof and columned porticoes. Inside, through a vestibule embellished by curved double doors, a welcoming foyer awaits with a gleaming wood floor beautified by a compass design.

Formal spaces with classic crown moldings and refinished hardwood floors include a gracious living room with a decorative fireplace and a dining room with custom china closet and French doors to a stone patio with enough room to host the largest of dinner parties. For more leisurely gatherings, there is the cozy family room with walls of handcrafted built-ins.

“Like something out of a movie, the study is a hidden room tucked between the family and dining rooms,” says Kauss. “Just a slight push of the bookcase and the wall slowly opens up to reveal this very private area, complete with its own electric heat.” Perhaps until now, this home’s best kept secret.

Rounding off this level and reflecting today’s active household are two half bathrooms and the very large kitchen with Mexican tile floor, a Wolf six burner range, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and an oversized granite island. A separate dining alcove, or sun room is wrapped in windows and features a pellet stove.

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