The longtime Chester, Conn., getaway of late and legendary broadcast journalist Morley Safer come for sale with an asking price of $1.45 million. The celebrated 12-time Emmy winning and three-time Peabody Award winning Canadian-American newsman is unquestionably best known as an intrepid and witty reporter for the venerable news magazine “60 Minutes.” Safer died in 2016 at 84, just a week after he announced his retirement from “60 Minutes” after 46 years — that’s right, kids, 46 years! — and the storybook sylvan spread is being sold by his long-time wife Jane Safer.
The Safers have owned the whimsical property for about 30 years and used it as a secluded rural retreat about a two-hour drive from their longtime Manhattan home. Approached long a tree-covered drive and spread over about seven thickly wooded acres, the playfully unconventional estate comprises a three-bedroom and four-bath stone-built main house of almost 3,900 square feet, plus a barn-style garage and charming cottage used a writer’s studio.
A delightful (and slightly odd) pastiche of architectural styles, the main house cheekily mixes Arts and Crafts stained glass doors with Medieval-style windows and an Alpine balcony. The main living room, which doubles as a grand entrance hall, features polished wood floors, a heavy-beamed ceiling and an antique carved stone fireplace. Another lounge has a brick fireplace, and the sunny eat-in kitchen sports casual bead board cabinets, butcher block counters and up-to-date commercial-style appliances. A stone archway connects the house to a classic English greenhouse conservatory for viewing the surrounding scenery and sky without ever stepping outside. The main floor master bedroom was added recently and offers an exposed wood cathedral ceiling, walk-in closet and spacious bathroom.
Sheathed in rustic wood paneling with a wood-beamed cathedral ceiling, the writer’s cottage is a self-contained work-from-home hideaway with a vintage brick fireplace, a simple kitchenette next to a built-in window seat and a full bathroom complete with steam shower.
Besides the swimming pool that’s set against dense forest, the sprawling property includes an outdoor stone fireplace, a Bermudian moon gate, an Italian garden grotto with Bocci court, and what listings held by Tim Boyd at William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty describe as “prides of terracotta and stone lions.”
The Safers’ New York City home, which they bought in 1996 for a tad over $2.2 million, is a turn-of-the-20th-century two-story red-brick converted carriage house just off Park Avenue that tax records peg at a generous 4,300 square feet.