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Local Couple Plans Preservation For Historic Simsbury Mansion

A local couple is hoping to bring new life to a prominent historic building along Simsbury's main thoroughfare.

According to town property records, Mark and Ieke Scully purchased the property at 690 Hopmeadow St., at the corner of Drake Hill Road – locally referred to as the Ensign House – in June for $1.6 million.

In an email, Mark Scully said he and his wife are "still exploring the best use of the property."

"However, our goals at this point are to preserve the stone mansion, turning it into residential apartments and building additional net zero energy residential units on the property," he said. "Ieke and I are passionate about preserving this historic property in a way that is environmentally sustainable."

The Scullys have previous experience with historic preservation. In 2007, they took on the task of renovating and expanding their 1841 farmhouse in West Simsbury, which was featured in The Courant.

The 10,000-square-foot Ensign House was built in 1905 for Joseph R. Ensign and his wife, Mary Phelps Ensign. He was the grandson of Joseph Toy, who founded Ensign-Bickford, a company that made fuses for explosives and is still headquartered in town, next door to the property.

The house, which has stood vacant since 2012, was most recently a Webster's Bank.

The three-story, Renaissance Revival structure in the center of town, was acquired by Chestnut Hill Associates of Simsbury LLC in May 2013 for $1 million. In January 2015, the group had proposed creating $2.25 million in renovations to the house, maintaining its historical integrity while turning it into luxury apartments.

The building was listed for sale in October.

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