DARIEN — Gardeners and farmers have sometimes joked about Connecticut’s rocky terrain, saying this region of the country “grows” rocks and large boulders. Those rocks must be cleared to make agricultural fields and flower beds conducive to the growing of produce and perennial plants.

Today, people find plenty of things to do with those rocks. They build fieldstone sitting and retaining walls, use them in patios and pathways. They put rocks together to create stone fireplaces and outdoor pizza ovens. Back in Colonial times when farmers unearthed large rocks, they would make stone walls and use them in the foundations of houses to serve as property boundaries or to pen in farm animals.

One particular 20th-century architect put them to very good use here in Connecticut and elsewhere, from Virginia to Maine.

“Frazier Forman Peters designed and built over 200 houses in the (United States). In Connecticut he built over 60 stone houses with four in Darien,” said Peters expert Robert A. Weingarten, who co-authored a book about Peters with the famed architect’s granddaughter, Laura Blau. She has followed in her grandfather’s footsteps. Blau is an architect based in Philadelphia.

Many of Peters’ stone houses still stand in Westport, Wilton, Weston, Norwalk, Fairfield, New Canaan and Darien, including the enchanting 3,560-square-foot stone and stucco colonial house built by the renowned architect in 1937 at 72 Delafield Island Road, in the private Delafield Island Association. That house is currently on the market. It was renovated in 2003 to provide it with modern amenities while preserving the integrity of Peters’ original design. This house has an elevator and a handsomely renovated eat-in kitchen.

“The exterior motive is an outstanding example of Peters design. Although the interior has been enhanced for modern day living, the living room still has considerable Peters’ features,” said Weingarten, whose book with Blau is titled “Frazier Forman Peters: Westport’s Legacy in Stone.”

The comprehensive book covers Peters’ life, construction principles and eco-consciousness. Peters is not only known for his distinctive stone houses, but also for his thoughtful placement of houses in a setting with nature in mind. The Delafield Island house is no exception. It is located on a cul-de-sac and sits in a secluded, serenely picturesque setting hidden behind a thick border of tall, mature trees.

The 1.25-acre level and sloping property contains a Gunite heated in-ground swimming pool with a waterfall and spa, and beautiful professional landscaping. As one approaches this house, which sits high on a knoll, it gives an almost magical, other worldly feel. The exterior of the main portion of the house and the garage appear to be by Peters but the cone shaped roof of the covered front entrance is a later addition. A bluestone path leads from the driveway to the semi-circular steps of this front entrance, the door of which opens into the two-story foyer, which has a stone floor.


STYLE: Stone House

ADDRESS: 72 Delafield Island Road

PRICE: $2,450,000


FEATURES: water community, elevator, 1.25-acre level and sloping property, located on a cul-de-sac, convenient to town and train, short walk to Pear Tree Point Beach, Gunite in-ground swimming pool with waterfall and spa, wine cellar, sprinkler system, generator, one fireplace, window treatments, neighborhood association, cable — available, wood shingle roof, attached under house three-car garage, attic, partial partially finished walk-out basement, four bedrooms, four full and one half baths

SCHOOLS: Tokeneke Elementary, Middlesex Middle, Darien High School

ASSESSMENT: $1,615,320

MILL RATE: 16.08 mills

TAXES: $24,974

ASSOCIATION FEE: $905 annually, association fee includes snow removal and road maintenance

According to Weingarten, Peters’ features in the living room include the decorative wrought iron staircase to one side of the room, the cathedral ceiling and the two sets of French doors that lead to a private terrace, where there is a built-in grilling area. Those doors flank the wood-burning stone fireplace with pressed concrete mantel. The living room also has wide and narrower-planked hardwood floor boarding. The dining room features a deep tray ceiling, wainscoting on the lower walls, and cove, or rope lighting.

The spacious two-story family room has many windows, a ceiling fan, skylights, built-in shelving and cabinets, cove lighting, a door to the attractive grounds, and two sets of French doors to the terrace. The kitchen features ogee-edged granite counters, a center island/breakfast bar for two, beverage refrigerator, a deep tray ceiling, stone flooring, an eat-in area, and high-end stainless appliances including a four-burner Wolf range top.

There are four bedrooms in this house. On the second floor the master bedroom suite is spacious and features two walk-in closets, one of which could be an office.

This house is less than a mile from the downtown Darien Metro-North train station, shops, and restaurants.

For more information or to make an appointment to see the house contact Lawrence Story and Lucille Story of Halstead Real Estate; Lawrence at 203-505-4253 or lawrencestory@halstead.com, and Lucille at 203-856-0973 or lstory@halstead.com.