76 Compo Road South: Built For Another 100 Years

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.

76 Compo Road South, before renovation.

“It looked so sad and empty,” he says. “But it had character. We knew there must have been a story behind it.”

There was.

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.

The original interior.

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.

76 Compo Road South, after renovation.

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.

The new first floor, including the original staircase and door.

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.

One of the 4 bedrooms.

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.

Inside the cottage.


17 responses to “76 Compo Road South: Built For Another 100 Years

  1. Looks nice but Dan can you please start posting higher resolution pictures? These pics are so small. Thanks

  2. Beautiful job!! Bravo!

  3. Thank you! Thank you! I too wondered for years what would become of this house that clearly had charm in its prime. So grateful that it has been beautifully renovated for a new chapter!

  4. Jean Whitehead

    Love this story. Thank you!

  5. Martha Spiegel

    Thx – I have been watching this renovation – have always loved this house. Brilliant job – so elegant.

    Sent from my iPad

  6. As elegant as it may be, it looks NOTHING like the original on the outside…just sayin’.

    • Agreed. I think the old exterior was elegant, whereas the new exterior looks cold and without character.

    • William Strittmatter

      Are we looking at the same pictures? Sure, the place has been painted, has a new roof color and the landscaping has been redone but the basic lines of the house are the same. If you are talking about the new black framed “green” windows being different, well, I suppose, but that seems to be in vogue these days. You can always paint them white again if you want.

  7. Nice work. I’m glad this house was saved. But the interior is all shades of WHITE, like the Robert Lawson house you featured last week. Whatever happened to COLOR ?

    • William Strittmatter

      As best I can tell from most any realtor I’ve talked to, “color” is “last century”. Makes the house look “dated” with a capital D or overly “personalized” with a capital P, so best to go with a neutral color (gray or white these days, linen white in the old days) if you are trying to sell a house. Apparently kids these days buying million dollar plus houses lack imagination about what a room might look like in a different color and/or are just not interested in repainting.

      • Guess my house is “overly personal” having every color there is, tho subtle and pre-dates “last century”, built in 1890. It does have a 1990 addition with lots of windows. Imaginative kids like it!

  8. Is the guest cottage still there? Alan Bravin’s dad, Murray, owner of Achorn’s, rented and lived there many years in the latter part of his life. It was a great property.

    Also, Alvin Farans’ wife back in the 1960s was a former Miss Israel who was our teacher at Temple Israel.

    • Susan Feliciano

      Our children and I would visit Lani and Murray there frequently…such lovely memories of them and their sweet cottage…fantastically unique as I fondly recall. Yes, you wouldn’t recognize it in its ‘remodeled’ state but it will serve the community well in the years ahead, thank God. How sad would it have been to see it, instead, in Westport’s ‘teardown of the day’ column. And regarding the ‘shades of white’ choice for the interiors? I actually have been hearing that color, even wallpaper, is making a welcome return to the home design runway…as usual, everything old is new again.

    • Yes – check out the final paragraph of the story. The guest cottage has been renovated beautifully. It is definitely a great property!

  9. This is a beautifully renovated house. Thanks for the pics! I too used to look at it and wish someone would fix it up!! Amazingly done in good taste and I wish I could afford to buy it!!! Just lovely and goes to show-NOT all builders tear houses down, some do great work!