This Milford Estate Features Pristine Indoor Spaces, An Extensive Art Collection, Breathtaking Vistas…And Plenty Of Parking
By Jennifer Vikse
In the mid 2000s, Michael Fux and Gloria Rubin found themselves on a mission. They wanted a retreat away from New York City and their other properties in New Jersey and Florida. The perfect place would offer them comfort and relaxation not to mention enough space for his ever growing car collection.
Oh, and a dependable source of safe drinking water. “We were looking for a place that had its own wells,” recalled Fux. “Water is very important. With all the crazy things happening, I thought, if we had a farm with water wells, we’d be covered.”
The mission, it turned out, was not an easy one to accomplish. After a while, when the right property hadn’t come along, the couple figured they needed a new approach. Fux decided that instead of looking for the perfect place, he would have it built. Then his realtor brought him to an old chicken farm. “I fell in love with the property even though it needed a lot of work,” he said.
And so the grand plan to build a carriage house, a main house, and a garage for the car collection finally began to take shape.
Fux and Rubin came up with a roadmap. First would be the big house on one side of the property. The rough outline:
27,000 square feet with eight suites and with a big garage. First, though, “we built a small house, the carriage house, at about 6,000 square feet,” said Fux. “When we got done with it, we loved it. So we thought, why build the big house?”
The carriage house, completed about 10 years ago, has four bedrooms, a spa, and other amenities. Most important, though, it has captured the hearts of its owners. “We come here to hang out,” Fux said. “We didn’t need a big house. This one is beautiful.”
Once the house designed by architect Jeffrey Beer was finished, Fux made plans to build an immense garage for his growing car collection. The plan was to use the original log house on the property, but they discovered it had been invaded by termites and had to be taken down.
The house, which is reminiscent of a Western ranch, is made of coral stone and finished with a Spanish style tile roof rescued from an old house in England that was being demolished. “I wanted the tile to have the look of old instead of a brand new red,” Fux said.
“The house is very homey, very comfortable. You get a good feeling when you go in there.”
Inside, the house features a sleek, contemporary design, utilizing materials like tile, glass, and stainless steel throughout. “I like glass, I like stainless,” Fux said. “Basically what it is, it’s things I enjoy, things I think are beautiful,” he said. “I like contemporary, and I made it Western looking with the art,” explained Fux, an avid collector.
“I wanted the place to have a Western feel, and it does,” he said, noting that he accomplished that with a collection of art from sculptures by artist Dave McGary, who specializes in Native American themes, to a range of Western oriented paintings and photographs.
The interior is mostly white, a canvas on which the couple’s vision could take form. “I love white. If you go into my New York City apartment, or my house in the Highlands, it’s all white. That is the color of the canvas. You can do color with art or glass, but you start with a white canvas,” he said. “This is a work of love, a work of art.”
His art collection like his automobile collection has been amassed over time. “I like art,” he said, pointing out that all his properties are similarly decorated. “We have a lot of art in all of our places.”
What distinguishes the ranch in Milford is its Native American art, which includes sculpture true to that theme. There are other Western inspired pieces, including cowboy sculptures, with an overall effect of being in a comfortable, lived in gallery. As Fux put it, “There’s something to be said about sitting down and looking at those beautiful pieces.”
In the great room, natural light filters in through several skylights and an array of large windows. High hats provide additional lighting when desired.
The house’s floors are ceramic tile; the bathroom floors are heated. A large fireplace serves both the interior and exterior of the home via a glass panel.
The kitchen features stainless steel cabinetry and appliances. The master bedroom, which is also white, has a terrace that offers unobstructed views of the grounds.
“No matter where you look, it’s beautiful. That’s why there are no window treatments,” explained Fux. “It’s so beautiful. It feels invigorating to wake up to that in the morning.”
Outside, there’s a stone patio, a pool, and a Jacuzzi. Beyond the wood fencing and man made pond stocked with fish lie several outbuildings an assortment of what Fux referred to as “barns” and “garages.”
The car “barn looks nothing like a barn,” admitted Fux, the founder of Comfort Revolution, which makes sleep products. In fact, it looks more like an indoor basketball court. The “garage,” which cost $2 million to build, includes a professional kitchen, a large fireplace, a sauna, bathrooms with showers, and more.
While it has been used as a family gathering spot, it now houses Fux’s massive car collection. “It’s a gorgeous place,” he said. “But there wasn’t enough room for all my cars.”
So how many cars are there? One hundred and sixty at last count, with new ones arriving all the time.
Fux’s love of cars began when he was just 5, living in Cuba. “My grandfather was a taxi driver, and he would put me on his lap and let me hold the steering wheel. I thought I was driving, and I fell in love with cars,” said Fux. “I said, one day, when I can afford it, I want to buy them all.”
And he pretty much has. About 18 years ago, he kicked off his hobby by buying a BMW, and the collection grew from there. Exotic cars, luxury cars, sports cars, classic cars, motorcycles they’re all here.
Fux built a second garage with four large entry doors and four large exit doors for his collection. Then came a third, which houses 10 to 12 motorcycles and old cars. “I love motorcycles. I ride I used to ride all the time. I love things that are fast and beautiful. And risky sometimes,” he quipped.
Each garage is climate controlled, and the entire property can run on generators if the need arises.
The only problem he said, is that he can’t get there enough to enjoy all the property now has to offer. “It’s just a beautiful, relaxing place. It can be made into lots of different things. It’s too beautiful not to use it.”
Franca Carbone at Keller Williams Realty / Mobile: 908.451.2345
Office: 908.751.7750 / kw.com/kw/agent/francacarbone