Sold At Last: Chestnut Hill’s Famed Copperwood Estate

Between the false bookcase and the bowling alley, it's hard to believe it took so long.

With 17,900 square feet spread over seven bedrooms, the French Norman Copperwood estate was never going to be an easy sell. But this Chestnut Hill property had everything going for it, starting with pedigree: It was owned by Eleanor Widener Dixon and renovated by renowned architect Horace Trumbauer.

And what about all the goodies inside? A false bookcase that leads to a speakeasy bar; a bowling alley; a gaming parlor; a ballroom with paneling from a King James Hunting Lodge; conference space; and a surfeit of wood detailing and molding you wouldn’t believe.

Outdoors, five acres of land offer flowering trees, a walled courtyard, a garden fountain, a tennis court, and a pool.

There’s even a three-bedroom carriage house, and a one-bedroom cottage attached to the main house.

That’s a lot of property for $3 million, which — the Wall Street Journal reported in a House of the Day feature on the home — is what Michael and Nancy Styles Verruto paid for it in June 2006.

The price went up considerably since, going on the market for $4.75 million in 2009 and then, in fits and starts, swinging between $3.2 million and $4.9 million. lists the sale price as $2.7 million.

For a brief time, it seemed as though it would be used for institutional purposes, when the John Jay Institute sought a zoning variance for it. But the community nixed that plan — they wanted the residential property to stay residential.

Here’s are a few photos as a reminder.

Go here for a full gallery. Some photos by Gary Schemp.