Built in the French Normandy Tutor revival style in 1929 for a perfume magnate in the Westville section of New Haven, this house at 140 Alston Ave. recently sold for $950,000, making it the second highest single-family home sale in the city’s history.

Single-family sale prices continue to climb in the southern part of Connecticut, as New Haven recently chalked up its second-highest sale to date, a transaction totaling just under $1 million.

The $950,000 deal was not only the second highest in the city’s history; it was the highest ever in its posh Westville section. The home, located at 140 Alston Ave., had been listed for $979,000 and spent five weeks on the market.

Realtors Maria and Robert Reynolds of William Orange Realty were both the listing and selling agents for the property. William Orange Realty has offices in Orange, Woodbridge and New Haven. The sellers were Catherine and Scott Halperen and the new owners are Michael and Alyse Weiner.

The Alston Avenue house was built in the French Normandy Tutor revival style in 1929 for a perfume magnate. The building is known as the Carroll Estate, named for the original owner, who relocated to New Haven from Europe.

Included in Sotheby’s List of Distinctive Properties, the home was marketed internationally through that organization. William Orange Realty is the exclusive Greater New Haven affiliate for Sotheby’s International Realty.

According to Lynn DeJoseph of the DeJoseph, Ohlsen Group in Orange, the first home constructed at the location was nearly completed but was not to the original owner’s liking. He had the original home torn down and brought in European craftsmen to erect the one that now stands. The home is noteworthy for its lavish use of expensive materials and is one of the largest single-family residences with a guest home in Westville.

The home contains more than 60 authentic leaded-glass windows with painted medallions and antique glass. According to DeJoseph, it possesses one of the most beautiful entrance halls in the area with a hand-carved, sweeping staircase and even a niche for a suit of armor. Details abound such as quarter-sawn solid oak coffered ceilings with brochette beams and hand-pegged oak floors. Double French doors lead to a covered loggia with arched masonry, serving as a reminder of the property’s European origins.

Inside the home, an authentic 1929 art deco mahogany bar graces the basement with art deco lights and leaded glass bar doors. Many of the home’s four-and-a-half bathrooms were architecturally redesigned with marble. A unique turret is home to a first and second floor study.

Upstairs a master suite occupies an entire private wing of the home. According to DeJoseph, a large, three-bedroom maid/staff quarters indicates the social status of the original owners. The mechanics are updated with central air conditioning on the second floor. The full basement has a huge sunken family room in the Tudor style with a stone-and-brick fireplace with Vermont casting stone.

The home’s exterior reflects the French Normandy tradition of using multiple building materials such as carved stone, brick, stucco, solid oak timber and the crowning glory, variegated one inch multi-colored slate roof.

‘Vested Interest’

DeJoseph said while the home is considered to be an architectural masterpiece, it is also a significant part of the flavor of New Haven. Its pristine condition is a real mirror of what wealthy people built in years past, she noted, and so many irreplaceable details make the home unquestionably unique and rare.

The Reynoldses specialize in unique and vintage properties with a strong emphasis on homes with architectural integrity in the Greater New Haven area, including Bethany, Orange, Woodbridge, Westville, Milford and West Haven.

According to Maria Reynolds, Westville is a “very nice neighborhood, very convenient to Yale [University], so a lot of people affiliated with the school live there. It’s within walking distance to synagogue, and has nice sidewalks.”

She added, “It has some of the nicest houses in the city, and is certainly a place known for its old architecture.”

Although the Alston Avenue deal is the second-highest home sale recorded in New Haven, Reynolds said that type of transaction is par for the course these days. Another home located only one street away closed at $698,000 last week, she said.

Reynolds also noted that the market is very strong in Westville, and “even when the market turns down, Westville remains a desirable area to live in. A lot of people whose children attend the Hopkins School [a private institution for students in grades seven through 12] live there.”

Earlier this summer, the most expensive home in New Haven, the well-known Orr mansion, sold for more than $1.1 million. Seller Penny Lyons originally purchased the mansion located at 242 Bradley St in 2001 for $769,000. The highest sale price previously recorded in New Haven was $890,000 in January 2002, followed by a $855,000 deal in January 2003, according to statistics from The Warren Group, parent company of The Commercial Record.

The Orr mansion is located in the city’s East Rock neighborhood, which is similar to Westville in that it features some of the finest architecture in Connecticut. Frank D’Ostilio Jr., president of William Orange and the one who handled the Orr deal, predicted that sales in the neighborhood and surrounding area would be higher after such a sale. Once the barrier is broken, he said, the million-dollar market is open for everyone.

“Historically when a property breaks a price record it raises the value of everything around it and people feel more comfortable paying that kind of money,” said D’Ostilio in a previous interview. “It raises the bar.”

While New Haven has yet to see another million-dollar home, prices have been increasing.

“I think prices in the last couple months have stabilized a little bit but we have definitely seen a large increase,” said Reynolds.

While earlier reports on New Haven have pointed to increasing taxes along the Shoreline area, causing buyers to look inland, Reynolds believes that people want specifically to live in Westville and are willing to pay for it.

“These are people that want to live here,” she said, noting that unlike other areas, those moving to Westville aren’t necessarily looking to restore old houses and sell them for profit.

“People stay in the area and upgrade their homes. They’re usually affiliated with Hopkins or Yale, so they have a vested interest in staying in the neighborhood,” said Reynolds.