Historic Buckingham Estate With Guest House & Barn
Listed by Madonna & Phillips Group. The former estate of internationally acclaimed classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz, and Wanda Toscanini -- daughter of the legendary conductor, Arturo Toscanini. Offered for the first time in 40 years, “Buckingham Estate” is among the most unspoiled and storied properties to hit Litchfield County. Delightfully sited at the crest of Revolutionary Camp Second Hill, the sale includes a c.1760 fully restored main residence, antique guest house, and 6-stall chestnut barn -- all set on a 7+/- acres level parcel comprised of a house lot and two (2) approved building lots that abuts 200 acres of forever green land trust property.
Character, charm, and romance define this stunning estate compound, 80 miles from Manhattan, and minutes from the historic towns of Washington, Roxbury and Bridgewater. The main four bedroom residence encompasses 3,800+/- square feet (excluding finished lower level), with seven rooms on the main floor and five above. A charming entry foyer invites you to stay the moment you arrive, opening to the expanded front living room -- a generous gathering space that spans the entire width of the house -- featuring original chestnut flooring, high ceilings with period-perfect crown molding, and a wood-burning fireplace with Federal-style mantle. The swanky dining room is ready for hosting formal dinner parties, and boasts a second fireplace, as well as a grand-scale bay window that affords an abundance of natural light and seamlessly captures garden views. The country kitchen is adjacent. A large, open space with exposed antique beams, floored with terra cotta tiles and built around a center island; it features a cooking fireplace, and opens to a bright windowed breakfast room. There’s a laundry and powder room off the kitchen, and completing the main floor is a sitting room with bay window, a fourth fireplace and original beehive oven.
A sculptural, flying staircase climbs curvaceously upward and ushers you to the delicious master suite with gas fireplace, bay window, and sitting area. The master bath with treetop views is fitted with travertine flooring, a walk-in shower, standalone tub, and double vanity. Two guest bedrooms include one en-suite, and one sharing a third full bath. The fourth bedroom is currently set up as a library with warm, rich wood paneling, built-ins, and gas fireplace.
The lower level transports you to another place in time … Finished with ceramic tile flooring, wood beam, and stone walls, it currently serves as a wine cellar, with coal stove, wet bar, and built-in cabinetry. There is also a separate spa area, with a small gym, Jacuzzi, and steam shower.
The antique 1,100+/- guesthouse is ideally suited for guests’ extended stays, caretaker’s house or as an onsite rental income opportunity. It offers a full eat-in kitchen, living room with wood-burning fireplace, bedroom, two baths, greenhouse, and attached two car tandem garage.
The Revolutionary War-era chestnut barn -- horse and carriage barn -- now functions wonderfully as an enchanting event space, with upper-level loft and long meadow views.
Outdoor amenities are highlighted by a stone loggia with views of the gardens, a heated inground pool with sunning patio, outdoor kitchen, and an open flat lawn perfect for outdoor play. The landscaped grounds -- beautified with extensive accent lighting -- create a beguiling backdrop for elegant and serene living. Original stone walls, perennial gardens with mature plantings that include a matching pair of 200-year-old "wedding maples", and an award-winning American Elm.
A truly rare and exciting opportunity to own a piece of New Milford history and one of the prime trophy estates in the area. Musicians, celebrities, poets and artists have walked through these doors and gathered in these very rooms, and now Buckingham Estate can be yours to see, live and love. Only 80 minutes to NYC, minutes to New Milford Town Green, and the quaint towns of Washington, Roxbury, and Kent – each lined with galleries, antique shops, fine dining and more.
Buckingham-Horowitz Estate History
Thomas Buckingham, born in 1672, resided in Milford, CT. Along with 108 others, including his father or brother Samuel, known as Proprietors, mostly from Milford, acquired a vast land area now known as New Milford from the indigenous Indians then inhabiting the area. As an original Proprietor, Thomas acquired a “Right” to a portion of the land acquired from the Indians. His son, Benjamin, inherited his father’s “Right”, and sometime prior to 1760 moved to Second Hill, where he built his home at the crest of the hill. In June of 1762, Benjamin married Ann Botsford, daughter of prominent New Milford citizen, Captain Nathan Botsford.
Benjamin became an extremely prosperous tobacco farmer, prominent in local and Congregational church affairs. When Benjamin died in May of 1819, the house and surrounding farmland, passed, as was then the custom, to his eldest son, Benjamin W. He was also a highly successful farmer on his father’s homestead, where he resided until his death, August 31, 1862, aged 86.
Upon Benjamin W.’s death, the property passed to his oldest son, Botsford W. Buckingham, who continued to be a prosperous farmer on his father’s homestead.
While the original “Right” was approximately 60 acres, along the years the Buckingham’s acquired adjoining parcels so that eventually they owned eight (8) separate parcels containing approximately 250 acres. During the Revolutionary war, General Washington’s troops, on their march to Boston, camped on the Buckingham spread, then known as Camp Second Hill. Several of the Buckingham’s served in the Union Army during the Civil War.
The gravestones of Benjamin, his wife Ann, their children and grandchildren and other relatives are located in various areas of Center Cemetery in the center of town, most notable being the impressive Buckingham obelisk, speaking to the vast wealth and prestige of the Buckingham clan.
The homestead remained in the Buckingham family until 1915, when it was sold intact to a wealthy industrialist from New Jersey. Eventually, it was acquired by Rowe B. Metcalf who owned the renowned and expansive 2500 acre Judds’ Bridge Farm just down the road in Washington and Roxbury. In 1960, Mr. Metcalf sold the house and property to his farm manager, Howard G. Sleighter, who continued to farm portions of the estate until the 1960’s when he subdivided the property and began selling off parcels.
In September1968, the internationally acclaimed concert pianist Vladimir Horowitz and his wife, Wanda, daughter of the world renown conductor, Arturo Toscanini, purchased the house together with 47 acres. The Horowitz’s later donated the back 24 acres to a land trust.
The Horowitz’s sold the remaining land, house, barns and outbuildings to the present owners in July 1978, who have lived there for the past forty (40) years.
About the Town of New Milford
New Milford, located in southern Litchfield County, is the largest town by area in the state, consisting of approximately 64 square miles. It offers convenient commuting from its location just a few miles north of I-84 and approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Manhattan. The town provides many amenities and year-round community events including summer concerts and art shows on its expansive town green. Along Main Street, Bank Street and Railroad Street, visitors will find charming boutiques, fine dining and a movie theater. The town’s scenic rural setting is highlighted by Candlewood Lake and the Housatonic River, which deliver plenty of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.