Monday, 27 February 2017 05:23

Heartwood Farm

Written by  Laurel Anderson

Named for a lucky draw that won the property, Heartwood Farm is the heart of Willistown Township and commands perhaps the most iconic view in Chester County.


Heartwood FarmImagine that you’ve banded together with like-minded people to save a special property from likely ruinous development. When you decide you want to make that gentleman’s farm your home, another member of the group has the same plan. Rather than a mutually destructive bidding war to determine the owner, you choose a civilized option—you draw cards. It’s your birthday and you’re feeling lucky, so you yield the first draw. The card is a king. You pause. Then you draw … an ace of hearts.

Today that lucky ace of hearts hangs framed in the family room and inspired the name of Heartwood Farm, the Gansky family home for almost 20 years. That luck of the draw had them move virtually across the street from their prior home in this unique corner of Chester County.


The Options

This 72-acres crown jewel of Radnor Hunt Country sits at the historic White Horse Village crossroads of Goshen and Providence Roads with sweeping southern views of rolling hills and fenced pastures. And with many surrounding properties also under conservation easement, the sunsets will remain a part of each day on the farm.

With their next chapter set to unfold in Florida, the Ganskys are ready to turn over the entire property—all 72 acres with main house, historic Isaac Massey tenant house, barns, five-car garage plus other outbuildings—or divide the main property with its 30 acres from the more equestrian-oriented parcel to the west.

Though under conservation easement, the property rights for the main residence allow for building a barn, if desired, while the other parcel permits building another residence.

Many options exist for this property: family compound, equestrian estate, equestrian business or gentleman’s farm.


Heartwood FarmThe Main House

You may have visited this 1930s classic Chester County stone farmhouse designed by famed local architect R. Brognard Okie—during one of several Chester County Day tours or as the site of countless fundraisers. Or you may recall spotting the home with its striking, modern cylindrical glass additions—perhaps with the sunset reflecting off the expanses of glass—as you drove along one of the most scenic roads in the county.

This distinctive home—boasting additions in the 1960s and early 2000s—was profiled in House Beautiful in a feature showing how to “marry contemporary and colonial” architecture. The conclusion: like a person, a house can grow more interesting, its character and charm developed and amplified over time.

And so the stately original stone Colonial was expanded and made more livable with the addition of circular spaces, bringing inside the same fieldstone as the exterior. Plus a new solarium (currently home to a bounty of orchids and other tropic plants), fire-side game room and second-floor master suite (with round bedroom and bath, plus skylights)—all with curving walls of modern windows to capture the full sweep of the coveted country view. A stone patio flanks the length of the house under towering specimen trees and provides prime outdoor entertainment space for 200 guests.

A 21st-century addition by local architect Peter Zimmerman echoes the same circular design and includes even more informal spaces—a bar area, wine room and glass observation tower for surveying the landscape and perhaps smoking a cigar while watching horses graze in the pastures.

With the additions the main house now includes eight bedrooms, six full and three half baths, an extravagant gourmet kitchen (once a chef’s pantry), formal living and dining rooms complete with ornate moldings and doors to the stone patio. The residence also has an enviable solarium, library, family room, billiards room, bar, wine room, underground shooting range, multiple fireplaces, staff quarters and more.

In addition to the large flagstone patio, exterior features include a heated greenhouse, pool with expansive pool house, lighted Har-Tru tennis court. And, of course, the 30 acres.


Heartwood FarmThe Farm

The adjoining 42-acre parcel is the site of a turnkey equestrian property. You can live in the historic Isaac Massey stone farmhouse, with five bedrooms and two baths, or new owners can build a new residence. This parcel enjoys the same high elevation giving way to long sight lines taking in the rolling hills, open pastures and old-growth forests—the resting place of famous race horses.

The massive U-shaped barn and smaller adjacent barn offer 24 stalls, two tack rooms, feed room, office and an apartment. Other features include a five-car carriage garage, outdoor lighted riding ring, plus grass dressage and show jumping training areas and fenced pastures.

Everything is in place for a smooth-working equestrian enterprise in a most desirable location.

This legacy property is now available.


This property, offered by Country Properties, Berkshire Hathaway, Fox & Roach—$7,995,000 for the main house with 30 acres, $4,495,000 for the equestrian parcel;, or $10,995,000 for both—contact Rob Van Alen at 610.212.5470 (cell), 610.347.2065 (office);