For nearly a year, Westporters watched the renovation of 76 Compo Road South.
Nestled beneath Baron’s South not far from the Post Road, the beautiful, very visible home had fallen into disrepair after its owner — only the second in its 90-year history — died.
It was a prime candidate for a teardown.
But that’s not what happened.
Teoman Ernamli — a native of Turkey with a steel importing business headquartered in Stamford — lives on Imperial Avenue. Every morning for 4 years, he and his wife walked past it.
“It looked so sad and empty,” he says. “But it had character. We knew there must have been a story behind it.”
Built in 1931 by Dr. Richard Spector, it had been owned for the last 40 years by Alvin Farans.
“It was so quirky — there was a telephone booth inside. You had to walk through the boiler room to get to the stairs. We loved it,” says Farans’ daughter, Claudia Morse.
Her father did his best to maintain it. But there were issues, like water leaks. When he died at 88, his daughters were sure that was the end of it.
Ernamli had other ideas.
He and a childhood friend, architect Burcin Dinler, had collaborated on 400 projects around the world. None, however, had been in the U.S.
In January 2019, Ernamli invited Dinler to Westport. They shared a vision of “bringing the house back to life.”
Ernamli bought the property. Then he and Dinler went to work.
They looked at old photos and architectural drawings. To make the 1931 house work for 2020 — without losing any of what made it special — they had to learn all they could about it.
A year later, the renovation is complete. It looks nearly the same on the outside.
Inside, it’s an entirely different house. With an open floor plan, plenty of light and all new amenities, it’s exactly what home buyers in 2020 want.
And, says Ernamli, “it’s built to last another 100 years.”
The builder kept the heavy main door, both staircases, main salon, cupolas, 2nd-floor beams, and some blue crystal glass.
But the interior — with its open floor plan, white oak floors, green-energy windows, state-of-the-art kitchen and bathrooms, sun rooms, French doors and more — is modern. Ernamli also created bedrooms and sitting areas out of previously unused space, over the garage.
Farans’ daughter, Claudia Morse, was “blown away” by the result.
She doesn’t even mind that some of the quirks are gone. “The boiler room by the stairs is now a closet,” she says. “That’s the way it always should have been.”
“We wanted to bring something new and special to Westport,” Ernamli says, “while keeping its special history. As a somewhat new Westporter, I want to contribute as much to the town as I can. I don’t want to change a lot.”
The new/old 76 Compo Road South home — including pool, gardens, and a completely renovated cottage next door — can be yours for $3,099,000. Click here for details.