The property features a five-acre swimming pond and a tennis pavilion with a grass roof
A Washington, Conn., estate going on the market for $14.9 million will be the priciest listing in the town’s history, according to records from the Council of Multiple Listing Services, as sourced by William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, the listing brokerage for the property.
Situated in Washington Depot, a small yet vibrant community, the estate was the long-time home of the late William Turner, a retired business executive from Montreal. After buying the land in 1997, Mr. Turner began building it out with his stepdaughter, architect Lisa Gray, and her husband, Alan Organschi, of Gray Organschi Architecture.
“He was really taken by this piece of land,” Ms. Gray said of the property, which boasts rolling hills, sloping valleys and a five-acre swimming pond. In the years that followed, Mr. Turner purchased additional lots, bringing the property to 70 acres.
Mr. Turner and his second wife, Nancy Gray, had seven children between them. “The whole project for my stepdad and my mom was really about making a place for our family to come,” Lisa Gray said. The couple named the estate Il Poggio—Italian for “the hillock”—after a Tuscan farmhouse they’d visited. After battling declining health for several years, Mr. Turner died in 2015, prompting his family to sell the estate.
A tri-level home on a hill
Built into the side of a hill and topped with a lead-coated copper roof, the three-floor main residence is a blend of granite, limestone and Alaskan cedar, according to the brokerage. Concrete columns grace the front and back of the house. With 12,500 square feet of living space, the home is anchored around a great room with a stone fireplace—one of 11 in the home—and windows that overlook the pond. There are five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and three powder rooms, including a master suite that shares a wing with the kitchen and dining room.
There’s an additional 8,000 square feet on the lower level, which features an indoor swimming pool in a room that opens to a patio with a fireplace. “When you’re in the pool, you have an incredible view out to the pond,” Ms. Gray said.
The pool area includes men and women’s changing rooms with a total of five showers. There’s also a fitness center, a squash court, a sauna, a hot tub and a media room on the same floor.
The property has a two-bedroom gatehouse, a caretaker’s office, a greenhouse, a storage building and a seven-car garage. Topped with a grass roof to blend into the surrounding meadows, the tennis pavilion overlooks the tennis court and pond.
“The whole goal was to be as respectful of the landscape as possible,” Ms. Gray said of the structure, which was carefully designed in order to follow regulations protecting a series of spring-fed ponds nearby.
The property has meadows, perennial gardens and trails, which lead to an architectural folly with a 50-seat amphitheater. Modeled after a Greek temple, the folly features fluted Doric columns made of limestone that Mr. Organschi sourced from a quarry in Minnesota. The stones were hand-cut at the quarry and assembled on site.
Mr. Turner hosted many philanthropic events at the folly, with the field out front accommodating hundreds of guests. “It has really spectacular views to the Berkshires and the Catskills,” Ms. Gray said.
The property is listed with Kathryn Clair of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.
“A lot of love went into it,” Ms. Gray said of building the estate with her stepfather. “I hope it goes to someone with a big family.”