Wyndhurst Rises Once More as Luxurious Condominiums

 

Springfield Union News

December 7, 1988

Luxury View:  Buyers of the luxury condominium development will have this view of Springfield from their location of Upper Pine Street in Springfield’s Maple Hill Historic District.  Ground breaking for the project was held yesterday.

 

For the third time in 125 years, a “Wyndhurst” will rise on Crescent Hill.

 

Developers broke ground yesterday for an $8 million, 26-unit luxury condominium estate to be built on a secluded site off upper Pine Street in the Maple Hill Historic District.

 

Units of “Wyndhurst on Crescent Hill,” a Queen Anne style development with panoramic views of downtown Springfield and the Connecticut River and featuring variable three-story floor plans, averaging 3000 square feet, are expected to range in price from $300,000 to $400.000.  Developer Leslie Clement said yesterday the first phase of the project will be ready for occupancy in about nine months.

 

The condominiums will be built in three buildings ---  the first housing nine units, the second with twelve and the third with three smaller units.  All the parking will be in an underground garage so that the Olmstead gardens and landscaping can be reproduced.

 

The list of options includes flexible floor plan design;  wood, tile, marble or other flooring;  columns and capitals;  skylights;  stained glass;  granite and marble countertops;  handmade copper stove hoods;  wet bars and additional fireplaces and bathrooms.

 

Clement said thousands were spent over a period of months determining that there was a definite market in Springfield for ultra-luxury condominiums.  She said she expects her buyers to primarily be empty-nesters who have built large equity in their present homes and who now have other interests and no longer want to deal with the hassles of upkeep, but still want the quality space they have been used to.

 

Four of the first nine units have been pre-sold, she says.

 

Owned by Clement and her partner Kevin McCarthy of Hampden Builders, the site with its views north, west and south have been home to two-36 room mansions.  The first Wyndhurst was built in 1864 for George Howard by a prominent New York architect in the “picturesque” Gothic style.  Along with the large brick mansion, Howard had the entire grounds landscaped by Frederick Law Olmstead, who later went on to design New York City’s Central Park.

 

In 1887, the mansion was bought by Edward Spaulding Brewer, a member of one of Springfield’s oldest families.  Brewer added a veranda, a two-storied porch, new entrance and an entire third floor to the house.

 

In 1915, the mansion was sold to the Chapin family, descendants of the founder of Springfield and owners of the Moore Drop Forge.  The family immediately tore down the house and had built in its place another 36 room mansion, this one in an elaborate Tudor style very fashionable at the time. 

 

The Chapins were a fun-loving and extravagant bunch, Clement said, sometimes known to hire private trains to bring groups of friends to New York City for an evening of theatre and dining.  One Chapin collected Rolls Royce cars;  in the project prospectus is detailed a Christmas Eve when Chapin bought a pink Rolls for his second wife, had a wall of mansion removed, drove the car into the house under an enormous Christmas tree and had the wall replaced by the morning.  Two Chapin sons, Alfred and Sam, once won a squash tournament from tennis great Bill Tilden.  Delighted they built a teak-paneled sky-lit indoor square court off the carriage house.

 

But in 1940, Clement said, with the property assessed at more than $100,000 and the family fortunes all but run out, the family demolished the mansion and out-buildings to avoid paying taxes.  The carriage house and squash court were spared.  Clement has restored the carriage house and it now serves as a model home for the condominium units.