A waterfront mansion with presidential ties hits the market in Manchester-by-the-Sea

Buying News
An aerial view of the property. Halsey Fulton

A historic Manchester-by-the-Sea property with ties to a presidential family has hit the market, but there’s a catch. Well, several of them.

Five years after being donated to Historic New England, a nonprofit dedicated to collecting and preserving the region’s past, the mansion at 9 and 11 Coolidge Point is being offered to the public for the first time.

Formerly owned by relatives of late president Calvin Coolidge, the house, 1,074-square-foot detached garage (with a half bath), and 15.1-acre grounds were donated to Historic New England in 2016, but the nonprofit listed the property for $10,250,000 in late July.

The brick Georgian is modeled after a home at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. —Greg Premru

The 4,416-square-foot house is a brick Georgian modeled after the 18th-century George Wythe House in Colonial Williamsburg, Va. Built in 1968, it is not particularly old, but the listing agent, Lanse Robb of LandVest Real Estate, said it was “renovated and built to the utmost integrity of that period design.”

The property’s significance can largely be attributed to the grounds themselves, which are right on the waterfront and mostly undeveloped. “It’s a find,” Robb said. “Fifteen acres on the water anywhere, much less Manchester-by-the-Sea. It’s kind of rare.”

The property contains more than 800 feet of coastline along Kettle Cove, which transforms into a sandy beach when the tide recedes. The pond sits northeast of the house and the three-car garage, and a small, stone-lined channel leads out to it. Two footbridges allow visitors to cross the channel and reach a garden on the other side. 

A bridge along the channel. —Halsey Fulton

The home itself contains four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and a half bath; the ground floor also boasts a foyer, library, mudroom, dining room, and kitchen, with five fireplaces between them. Two bedrooms on the second floor overlook 12-acre Coolidge Pond, and each includes its own fireplace as well.

The home has seven fireplaces in all. —Greg Premru

But there is a catch. Due to its beauty and cultural significance, the property comes with ironclad restrictions, per the request of the Coolidge family. The three separate restriction documents are intended to maintain the property’s “historic, architectural, cultural, scenic, and aesthetic value and significance,” according to a press release.

The kitchen features exposed brick. —Greg Premru

The first restriction is a perpetual conservation restriction held by the Essex County Greenbelt, protecting the land from environmental threats like dumping, clearing, mining, and creating more parking spaces. The second is a 200-year private restriction imposed by The Trustees of Reservations Coolidge Reservation and concerns only the 4.46 acres designated as 11 Coolidge Point. It prevents the owners from building new structures and requires them to maintain the forest. The conservation and private restrictions also prevent building on the other 10.64 acres, too. The third is a historic preservation restriction held by Historic New England that prevents the owner from altering the exterior of the house and the foyer without approval from the organization. Other changes may be subject to Historic New England’s approval.

“You can’t subdivide and build another house or do things of that nature,” Robb said, noting that other renovations are still possible. “You can add onto the house, you can add onto the garage, but you can’t build other dwellings, barns, [or] things of that nature on the property.”

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