The best way to recreate the past is to find ways to live in it. That’s exactly what the ambitious Friendly’s restaurant chain co-founder S. Prestley Blake set out to do with this newly constructed replica of Thomas Jefferson’s Charlottesville, Va. estate Monticello. The extraordinarily unique “new-old” home proudly stands in Somers, Conn., and is represented by Sherri-Lynn Milkie of our Old Lyme brokerage for $6,500,000.
Blake, who has undertaken numerous building projects on his own property in recent years, conceived the Monticello project as his “swan song” upon approaching his 100th birthday. Blake held his centennial birthday celebration in the newly constructed residence on October 3, 2014, just as construction was completed.
Construction began in the summer of 2013 after Blake purchased the ten-acre property, which connects to his own 80-acre property by a wooded horse trail. He tore down the church and home that existed on the land, which had been owned by Big Y supermarket co-founder Gerald D’Amour, and decided to use the property to create a visionary reproduction of the historical home so many Americans frequent and adore, and what he often refers to as “the country’s most architecturally beautiful residence.”
A man true to his word, Blake didn’t waste any time. He worked with general contractor Raymond Laplante of Laplante Construction Inc. to precisely replicate the brick neoclassical-style exterior of Monticello, utilizing all of the same materials Jefferson used to create his plantation home. The replication did not extend to the interior, which was built to accommodate a more modern lifestyle, yet homages exist throughout including the blue sky ceiling mural in the entryway that recalls the skylight in Jefferson’s dome room.
With nearly 10,000 square feet of living space, the architectural masterpiece has a total of 11 rooms with five bedrooms and five full and four half baths.
“It is our honor to represent the Blakes’ magnificent tribute to Jefferson’s Monticello,” said Milkie. “It is wonderful to see such an important historic icon experience a new life, reproduced with a passion that can be viewed in every detail. This offering makes for an extraordinary opportunity for the right buyer.”
While it may not be the exact floors on which the great Thomas Jefferson once stood, the re-creation of this monumental treasure in American history sure pays tribute to his influential mark on our country’s history. Future residents of Connecticut’s very own Monticello estate should be honored and humbled to be a part of this specially built remembrance of our past.
For more information on the property, located at 732 Hall Hill Road, please visit our website here.