For more than a century, Greenwich, Connecticut has cemented itself as a country retreat for New York’s wealthiest, where some of the greatest estates were built to masterful standards and monumental proportions. There were the tycoons like E.C. Benedict, H.O. Havemeyer, William Rockefeller and J. Kennedy Tod who constructed their gilded age country mansions in the early 1900s. Later in the 1920s, others — like the Gimbels (of the Gimbel department store chain) — followed suit with their own legendary mansions set on sprawling swaths of land. All were determined to enjoy Greenwich’s commanding views, safe harbors, clean air and rich soil.
Fast forward to today and a new great estate, crafted in this same tradition, has made its debut on 27 rarified acres in Greenwich.
The estate is called “Topping Hill.” Completed in 2020 with the utmost discernment in craftsmanship, design, amenities and state-of-the-art smart home technology, the property encompasses a stately French Normandy residence of over 14,000 square feet and an impressive list of outdoor recreational amenities that would please any New Yorker looking for an escape from city life: serene rolling meadows, a lake, a professional Har-Tru tennis court and pavilion, a charming boathouse, a romantic gazebo, a new dock, extensive walking paths on the property and direct access to the Greenwich horseback-riding trails. The residence itself borders conservation land and is set 600 feet back from the street, reached only by a long, winding, tree-lined driveway — shrouding it in complete privacy.
A dream collaboration between architect Ralph Mackin, builder Scott Hobbs, AD100 designer Alexa Hampton (daughter of legendary interior designer Mark Hampton), landscape architect Janice Parker and Stephen Scanniello, who designed the rose gardens, brought the property to its masterful conclusion. Per our recent House Tour story, Mackin and the homeowners found inspiration among some of America’s finest architectural treasures, including the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Michigan. The main residence is a testament to their studious approach. Crafted from hand-honed granite and positioned on the site to take full advantage of the south-facing meadow and lake views, the residence manages to balance old and new, and formality with modern-day comfort as a dramatic two-story main foyer flows to effortless main level living — an office, living room, dining room, family room and a sunlit, south-facing exterior family room with fireplace opening to the outdoors. An interior pool beckons with a full-length skylight and doors accessing the gardens for outdoor exposure. There is also a 1,000-bottle wine room, gym and music room in addition to its six bedrooms.
The listing agents say it is extremely rare to find 27 acres in Greenwich, let alone a new residence of this stature with beautiful grounds and abundant recreation. “There has not been a property offered for sale like this in almost half a century,” they say, elevating Topping Hill to the status of Greenwich’s great estates.