Iconic Compo Cove Homes For Sale

One of Westport’s most beloved — and most photographed, and most painted — properties is on the market.

The gray house on Compo Cove — the first one we see from Old Mill Beach and Hillspoint Road, gazing toward the Nantucket-like, no-cars-allowed enclave east of Sherwood Mill Pond — has just been listed.

44 Compo Cove (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

It’s a historic gem. Built in 1917, the “Coleburn house” has withstood more than a century of storms with its original framing and fireplace still intact. The first floor has never been flooded.

44 Compo Cove (right). The “pirate shack” cottage at #42 (left) is also part of the sale.

The kitchen and bathrooms have been modernized, but the interior is true to its original construction. 

One of 4 bedrooms at 44 Compo Cove.

#44 is the oldest of the 19 homes on the Cove, a peninsula accessible only by footbridge from Old Mill (or in an emergency, through the west end of Sherwood Island State Park). The Mill Cove is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Preservation CT calls 44 Compo Cove one of the “most typical and best preserved” bungalows in the state.

#44 is a classic beach house: 4 bedrooms, wooden interior, wraparound porch, and 125 feet of private sand.

The wide porch at #44.

The cottage next door, built in 2008 by Michael Greenberg at #42, is part of the sale. With a huge deck, it too offers stunning views in all directions.

The “pirate shack” cottage at 42 Compo Cove is part of the sale.

The price for both properties, on 1.96 acres, is $7.9 million. The seller hopes for a preservation-minded buyer.

44 Compo Cove, in winter (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

But #44 and 42 are not the only properties for sale on Compo Cove.

Next door, #48 is on the market too.

It’s a .41-acre lot, available as land only for $2.8 million, or — for $7 million — as a new home designed by Michael Greenberg.

Aerial view of Compo Cove. #44 is at right; #42 is in the center (white). Also for sale, in another transaction: #48 (the now empty lot just above #42, on the water).

Compo Cove is timeless. Its footpath dates back more than a century. Wildlife has been there far longer.

It’s also ever-changing. Each season — every day, really — brings new views.

Every Westporter — whether they’ve visited the Cove, or admired it from afar — feels attached to that small spit of land. We’re all invested in who next will actually invest in those properties.

23 responses to “Iconic Compo Cove Homes For Sale

  1. I’ve always loved #42 – even when it was a little red shack. A girl can dream!

  2. SINCERELY HOPING IT WILL RETAIN ITS VISUAL HISTORY AND NOT BE PURCHASED BY DEVELOPERS WHO WILL RECEIVE ZONING PERMISSION TO CHANGE AND BUILD THEIR SOULLESS MONSTROSITIES…….WESTPORT’S ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY IS DISAPPEARING AT AN ALARMING RATE.

  3. Patricia McMahon

    One of my favorite structures to photograph .
    Iconic Compo Cove .
    If i win the lottery in the next 48hours…wink!

  4. I’m starting to wonder about returning to Westport. I wonder how many cape cod homes are left that I’d recognize from the 1950s and 1960s. I keep reading comments about monstrosities!

  5. Actually, it is a Coley house as was the cottage next door. I grew up next door and have fond memories of John Colburn and his wonderful two daughters. The Teaze cottage actually was where 42 is now and was moved to build the “new” 42. Sadly, the Teaze cottage was torn down and a McMansion built on the site. While the first floor never flooded, I can assure you the cellar did. John was a consummate New Englander and rarely threw anything useful out. I often helped him out with various projects and learned much from him.

  6. Celeste Champagne

    Wonder why so many have gone on the market at the same time. Probably taking advantage of the real estate boom, but they are charming as well as historic, and hope that won’t be changed.

  7. Vanessa Bradford

    Patricia run out and get those lottery tickets!!!!!

  8. Loretta Santella Hallock

    Hope they don’t knock down 44. I babysat there when I was a teenager. Love that spot.

  9. 44 is perfect.
    Too bad it was never landmarked.
    It’s about to go to the landfill.

    • It’s Not too late for preservation to designate.🏖

      🔆 I know that Robin Tauck loves this beach cottage and has painstakingly restored it, she also rebuilt the Pirate Shack- and she won historic pres awards for a beautiful (historic) restorations

      So, hopefully she’ll consider selling w protections in place?

      Robin, *People/buyers can say whatever they want to— to buy it…
      But later they will want to improve it, like making it fema compliant-or whatever—
      And they will be told it wd be better to knock it down and build new-
      And build exactly what you want there..bec —it would be!! much easier and cheaper too
      than saving it, like you once did …

      ✨✨✨((and we are all so glad you did!))✨✨✨

      Sadly we’ve seen this all over the town but this is such an Iconic Westport Beach home and it is in Fabulous condition—and I really believe:
      Historic Preservation is the Best way to go here

  10. Michael Isaacs

    Vita Design Group has offered to reconfigure the house for whoever buys it.

  11. 🏖 It could be sold w historic restrictions…. 🔆
    It’s a fabulous historic restoration/won awards for preservation

    Hope it doesn’t get knocked down now✨✨✨

  12. I spent many interesting hours in that house and on the porch with John Coleburn who loved to tell about the history of the cove. He was probably my grandparents age and a wonderful man.

  13. Wendy Crowther

    Oh no. I fear this vintage house and iconic viewshed are toast. It’s one of my favorite scenes in all of Westport.

    According to Trulia, this property last sold in 2005 for over 3.6 million. It’s listed for 7.9 million now.

    Can we possibly hope for a buyer today who can accept such simple pleasures for this kind of price tag? Perhaps only if they leave the two cottages standing and also purchase the empty, 7 million dollar lot next door along with the new, design/build house being pitched with it.

    I’m shaking in my Wellies. Enjoy this 100 year old view now, while you still can.

  14. Rosemary Milligan

    Having seen what has happened to so many houses in Westport I don’t hold out much hope – can’t anything be done to save it?

  15. Connie Widmann

    Our goal is to find the right distinctive buyer, like the current owner to preserve this special point and enjoy it as it stands and yes the entire point is available for sale. Once in a life time opportunity!!!

    • If the goal was to conserve what is easily the best preserved early beach cottage in Westport, that’s admirable. And I sure hope you make it to the mountain. However, I should think step one would have been to landmark it before listing it. Because that’s what you do if that’s what you want. And it would have been easy. But now, with exactly zero formal protection measures in place, you’ve effectively lost nearly all control of the thing that you indicated was quite important.

  16. Of course, Morley is correct. If the owners really gave a damn about anything but the eight million, they’d certainly have “landmarked” the place before marketing…no way eight, or five (far more likely) million is gonna’ keep a “charming” “cottage standing without prior restrictions….no way.

    • I can only think of one person with both the means and discipline necessary to leave #44 and its setting unmolested: Anne Bass. That astonishing woman would have done it without hesitation. Sadly, she is no longer with us. So good luck with the whole “distinctive buyer” thing – in this particuar case, it’s a really, really short bench.

  17. Linda Pomerantz Novis

    Love # 44..

    Growing up,I always dreamed ‘when I wrote that hit song,I’d live there, forever’… (yes, agree, I can dream..:-)
    (Years later, on a visit from Seattle, I then came back to same spot, by that same house,holding my 7-month-old,Josh.:-)

    Yes,I,Too, Love Betsy kahn’s winter photo!

  18. Terry Anzalone

    I have a painting of this house.
    Way too sad to see this demolished!!

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