Sachem’s Head, a tiny hamlet on a 600-acre peninsula off the Connecticut shoreline, started out as a vacation community. Though it’s technically located in the otherwise rather suburban-feeling Guilford, homes on the peninsula (there are 120 of them) are a bit unto themselves — residents pay a separate property tax (in addition to town taxes) and have their own garbage collection service, tennis courts, and pier. The area also has a distinctly more summery feeling than the rest of the town — set right on the Long Island Sound, most houses look out onto beaches, bluffs, and salt marshes. Homes there are typically renovated original cottages or larger newer-built colonials, so this waterfront A-frame, on the market for the very first time since it was built in 1961, is fairly distinct from its neighbors.
Designed by architect and artist Richard E. Baringer (whose works have been exhibited at MoMA) for the family of his twin brother, who was in the insurance business, the house began with just the A-frame. About four years later, that structure was connected to a separate living room (which has a pyramid hip roof with a large skylight at the peak), which was then connected to another flat-roofed family room (with two entire walls of glass). Then that structure got an adjoining two-car garage designed to look just like the living room with a hip roof and shingle siding. Around the house, there are 16 oversize glass sliders, five decks (including two 23-foot-wide ones on either end of the A-frame), plus a balcony and patio, which come with direct views of a marshy cove (and its ospreys, egrets, and great blue herons) and the Sound.
Inside, virtually everything is original, including the galley kitchen with orange and blue cabinets, the matching banquette in the dining room, the spiral iron staircase (which has strings vertically anchored into the ground to prevent people from walking into the treads), and cedar plank ceilings. For now, the house also remains furnished with tons of original furniture and artworks (the notably geometric ones are by Baringer), which do not come with the sale but select pieces may be available for the buyer to purchase separately.
Since the nearly 2,500-square-foot house comes with just two bedrooms (a larger cove-facing one right under the A-frame plus a lofted one with its own bathroom and office area), most of the interior is dedicated to its very large common areas: The living room measures 22 by 18 feet and the family room is even larger at 29 by 17 feet. According to Laurie Trulock, the listing agent and niece of the original owner, her uncle hosted many great parties at this house, where he liked to entertain his musician, artist, and sailor friends. The house, in fact, is just a five-minute walk from the Sachem’s Head Yacht Club, which since the late 1890s has been sited on a tiny island of bare rock, only connected to the mainland by a footbridge.