An enchanting chateau in Norwalk
NORWALK — When stepping inside the chateau-style home at 8 Stony Lane, you begin to feel like you’re halfway across the globe in Europe rather than in a neighborhood in West Norwalk.
It’s the stucco walls, vaulted ceilings and soft arches inside the home that give off this kind of feeling, along with its prominent central tower. Upon a closer look, you’ll find more details of European influence, including a 15th century antique chest from Germany inside the library and French armor doors installed as closet doors near the tower.
This was the kind of house Carolyn Wheeler’s parents wanted when they were moving from New Canaan to Norwalk in order to downsize. Wheeler’s mother, in particular, longed for a place reminiscent of her German roots.
“They bought this land and thought this would be a good place to build that dream home,” Wheeler said. “And so my brother and I, who are builders, helped create this house and build it for them.”
Bringing their parents’ dream home to life was special for several reasons, Wheeler said.
As professionals in the construction industry for more than 20 years, both she and her brother Walter Cromwell followed in the footsteps of their father, Walter Cromwell Sr., who was one of the most successful residential builders in Fairfield County. And the land on which they built the home is part of nearly 5 acres that have belonged to the family since the late 1800s, according to Wheeler.
Remnants of the family’s past can be seen near the plot of land at the intersection of West Norwalk Road and Stony Lane, where Wheeler’s grandmother’s Victorian house used to be and where red barns are still standing.
However, after about a decade of living at the home, Wheeler’s mother is now selling the nearly 5,000-square-foot chateau — French for castle or country house.
“It’s sort of a funny feeling to let part of the property go to somebody else, being in our family for so long,” Wheeler said. “But I think, and I hope, someday that a nice family will buy it.”
The 2007-built house is selling for $1,495,000 through Dori Seamans of Realty Seven, Inc.
As a real estate agent in the area for more than 16 years, Seamans said she was excited when she first saw the listing. While a similar home can be found in Darien or north parts of Stamford, Seamans said a chateau-style home is rare to spot in Norwalk — especially one with such fine craftsmanship and details visible in the home at 8 Stony Lane.
“That’s what makes this home so special,” Seamans said. “It’s a home that suits many lifestyles, especially with the master (bedroom) on the first floor.”
Wheeler agreed, noting the master suite on the first floor and three bedrooms upstairs, with additional space for recreation and relaxation throughout the home and outdoors on the front lawn and backyard patio. She recalled many family gatherings and parties her parents hosted in the past decade, which was an important quality of the home her parents wanted to have.
Although Wheeler will miss having the house in the family, she is hopeful it will eventually find the right owners.
“This house could be almost for anybody,” Wheeler said. “It’s an easy-living home.”
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