As the story goes, P.T. Barnum fell in love with Port Jefferson Village and had a Queen Anne Victorian built in 1887 with the idea his circus could winter there. But the village didn’t want a circus in town, so Barnum never did move in. Now his house and guest quarters, which stretch between Randall and Hallett Avenues, are on the market for $1,550,000 with low annual taxes of $17,098.
The current owners, who bought the property in 1994, are only the fourth family to live there. Their house, which boasts Sound and harbor views and is in walking distance to the village, has been part of the annual Dickens Festival due to its historic significance and festive Christmas décor.
The house — which also has Shingle-style elements — has unique architectural details with 12.5-foot ceilings, eight fireplaces, dual staircase, original woodworking and stained-glass windows. There are four bedrooms and three baths, including a renovated primary suite with a fireplace, walk-in-closet and spa bath. A renovation in 2000 incorporated a chef’s kitchen with a 50-by-78-inch center island, six-burner stove, a warming oven, pantry and a butler’s pantry that leads to the dining room. The lower-level addition includes a rustic retreat with a massive fireplace. It also has a wine cellar that was formerly the root cellar. Its wooden door from the 1880s was repurposed as the wine cellar floor. The attic stretches the full length of the house, making a fourth usable level, which is also air-conditioned. In fact, the homeowner said her children used to have their birthday parties and sleepovers up there.
The property also has an updated guest cottage with a full kitchen, one-and-a-half baths and large living space on the second level. The 0.58-acre lot has a heated, saltwater gunite pool, established gardens, estate driveway and a detached two-car garage. In addition, there’s an adjacent half-acre lot with a renovated farmhouse (the original P.T. Barnum barn) also available for sale. The house is located in the Port Jefferson School District.
The homeowner said among her favorite things are the wraparound porches where she can sit and hear the nearby ferry and being able to walk to the village and nearby park.
Listing agents Susan Falvey and Lynn Sabatelle with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty said the house and grounds are in pristine condition. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in one of the most spectacular historic homes in Port Jefferson Village," said Sabatelle.