By: Megan Montemarano
Have you ever wondered where the literary greats get their inspiration? Oftentimes, it’s a perfect location—a safe haven to get in touch with one’s imagination and deepest emotions—that inspires most. Now’s your chance to go behind the scenes and into the writing spaces of legendary authors and playwrights! This roundup of beautiful (and inspiring) homes has connections to some of literature’s finest.
135 Old Branchville Road—Ridgefield, Conn.
Once home to prolific author Cornelius Ryan, a historical author and war correspondent most known for his popular military-themed books, this mid-century modern estate offers unparalleled privacy and stunning country views. Located in the picturesque town of Ridgefield, Conn., the six-bedroom, five and a half-bath home benefits from its storybook New England setting and convenient commute to countless nearby offerings. Between its stunning surroundings and exceptional design and versatility, which can easily accommodate one’s personal style, it comes as no surprise that Ryan wrote some of his best works here. “The mid-century modern retreat was where his well known The Longest Day was penned,” comments Deborah McCarty, an agent from our Ridgefield brokerage who is listing this property. “He and his wife Kathryn Morgan Ryan, also an author, lived in the home from 1959- 1974.”
For more information: Deborah McCarty, 203.240.2669, Dmccarty@williampitt.com
17 Wood End Lane—Bronxville, N.Y.
Designed by renowned Bronxville architect Charles Lewis Bowman, this spectacular Bronxville Tudor was formerly owned by Sinclair Lewis, an American novelist and playwright recognized for being the first writer from the U.S. to receive the Nobel Prize in literature. The 1924 residence is located on a quiet neighborhood lane in Bronxville, N.Y., affording a peaceful, private escape just minutes from New York City. “Classic architecture, a park-like property, and a link to literary history make this distinctive five-bedroom Tudor uniquely exciting,” says Bronxville agent Kathleen Collins, who represents the listing. From its elegant rooms and features to its historic library with floor to ceiling bookshelves—Lewis’s claimed writing refuge—this home is exceptional. “The illustrious author and playwright hosted many glittering parties here, which were attended by such notable contemporaries as Noel Coward and H.G. Wells,” continues Collins. “A light-filled interior, gorgeous property views from every room, and timeless Bowman architecture make this an ideal home for today, as well as a window on a glorious past.”
For more information: Kathleen Collins, 914.715.6052, Kathleen.Collins@juliabfee.com
7 Old Redding Road—Easton, Conn.
Located on over three acres of land in the historic Aspetuck area of Easton, Conn., this 1780 residence previously served as home to successful pharmacist and businessman Gustav Pfeiffer, who shared connections with a number of prominent individuals, including the great literary icon Ernest Hemingway. Married to Pfeiffer’s niece, Hemmingway is rumored to have temporarily lived at 7 Old Redding Road while in search of a new home with his wife. “There is a persistent story that Hemingway even wrote part of A Farewell to Arms while here,” explains Southport agent Jill Kelly, who represents this fabulous residence with co-listing agent Sarah Keenan. The well-maintained antique home enjoys over 4,600 square feet of space complete with four fireplaces, wood paneling, extensive moldings, wide plank floors and more.
845 North Salem Road—Ridgefield, Conn.
Originally built in 1905, this seven-bedroom Colonial antique was formerly owned by American playwright and Nobel laureate in literature Eugene O’Neill. The estate, known as Brook Farm, comprises over 16 acres of land on one of Ridgefield’s most scenic roads, neighboring the North Salem Bridle Trails. “Brook Farm was home to Eugene O’Neill during the 1920s,” explains Ridgefield agent Laura Freed, who represents the property for sale. “The setting provided the inspiration for one of his most famous plays, ‘Desire Under the Elms,’ which was written while he was in residence.” In addition to a well-appointed beautiful main home, the majestic property currently contains a heated in-ground salt water pool, porch and stone terrace, as well as an attached two-car garage, and separate barn with a four bay garage, two box stalls and a second floor with potential for a home office/studio or guest quarters.
For more information: Laura Freed, 203.733.7053, Lfreed@williampitt.com