Exclusive: Estate of Tech Entrepreneur Who Invented an Anti-Theft Tag Lists for $8.5 Million

Exclusive: Estate of Tech Entrepreneur Who Invented an Anti-Theft Tag Lists for $8.5 Million

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The estate is one of about 20 in Connecticut designed by the architect Allan Greenberg.

Credit
Jane Beiles for The New York Times

The estate of George Lichtblau, an entrepreneur best known for inventing the anti-shoplifting tags attached to clothing in stores, sits on a majestic perch on 8.4 acres overlooking a large pond in New Canaan, Conn.

The five-bedroom house on Huckleberry Hill Road, built in 1982 in a classical Palladian style, has just gone on the market for $8.5 million. It is one of about 20 in Connecticut designed by Allan Greenberg, one of the country’s foremost classical architects.

Mr. Lichtblau and his wife, Anne, bought the property in 2008 for $11 million. The Lichtblaus died within days of each other last year, and the house is being sold by their estate.

The rotunda was designed as a ballroom for the original owners.

Credit
Jane Beiles for The New York Times

Mr. Greenberg, 78, recalled that the original owners — three owners before the Lichtblaus — loved to dance and entertain, and wanted a soaring central rotunda, which they thought would make an impressive ballroom. “You know, the mid-1980s — disco was a big deal,” he said.

Mr. Greenberg drew up a symmetrical floor plan that extends from the three-story, cupola-topped rotunda, and is adorned with pilasters and three sets of Palladian windows across the back. “You can really walk in a circle all the way around the house,” he said. “You can go from the kitchen to the gallery, to the study, to the living room, to the ballroom, to the dining room. It’s really designed so you can endlessly walk around from room to room.”

In addition to five bedrooms, the house has seven and a half bathrooms, an attached two-car garage, a swimming pool and a separate guesthouse, according to Bonnie Sztam and Rita Kirby, the listing agents with William Pitt Sotheby’s.

The entrance is a four-column portico that opens into a small foyer, which leads, in turn, to a 27-foot-long reception gallery offering the first glimpse into the rotunda — and straight through the back to the grounds. The other public rooms also come off the gallery, including a mahogany-paneled library, the living room and a formal dining room.

The dining room walls are covered with a hand-painted Chinese wallpaper from Gracie. The hand-carved fireplace mantel is a replica of one in Blair House, in Washington, D.C., Ms. Kirby said.

The kitchen has white hardwood cabinets, Carrara marble counters and mosaic marble floors. An adjoining butler’s pantry has a second dishwasher, a brass sink and a built-in desk.

Mr. Greenberg did an extensive renovation for Jack and Jill Lasersohn, who bought the property in 2005, adding a family room and more bedrooms upstairs. On the ground level, the addition includes his-and-hers offices, one with a custom closet for Ms. Lasersohn’s collection of antique textiles.

The lower level of the house also has a carpeted rec room with a wet bar, a gym and small theater room, as well as a full bath.

The first-floor family room.

Credit
Jane Beiles for The New York Times

The upper level is reached by a curved staircase off the entrance gallery. The landing, which has a barrel ceiling, faces the upper wall of the rotunda, where a series of small windows offer a view below.

The large master bedroom has a fireplace, a balcony and a dressing room with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. The master bath has a heated floor and a steam shower.

There are three other bedrooms at the opposite end of the hall, each with its own bath. A fifth upstairs bedroom was converted into a walk-in closet by the Lichtblaus, as Ms. Lichtblau was a philanthropist and socialite who amassed a vast designer wardrobe. The room is lined with glass-front cabinets that put clothing and shoes on full view. (The diminutive Ms. Lichtblau especially loved her high heels, Ms. Kirby said.)

Outside, the parklike grounds feature a firepit and viewing terrace at the edge of the pond, as well as a gazebo.

The Lasersohns look back fondly on the time they spent there. “That was a once-in-a-lifetime home — you felt like you were on vacation every day,” Ms. Lasersohn said. “And every time I walked in the door, it made me feel happy.”

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