A Garden Aging in Grace
It’s not every day that you get to stroll on a 1.3-acre property in Rye, where everything is blooming in harmony, and one garden room flows seamlessly into another. You’ll want to linger under the gazebo or sit on a bench gazing out on the large lawn in back and escape from the modern world.
Step into the hipped-roof classic stucco home on Forest Avenue designed in 1904 by Charles Platt, noted architect of the American Renaissance movement, and look down the long hallway into the glorious gardens that were created by Mrs. William Rand. It was there that she welcomed a small group of ladies for the first meeting of The Rye Garden Club over 100 years ago. Current owner Chris Duncan has hosted a number of Little Garden Club meetings over the last decade.
It was under Duncan’s stewardship that the pergola was added and that a wall of boxwoods surrounds the pool. She not only has a green thumb, but also an appreciation of history and design. She thoughtfully restored the interior, bringing the kitchen into the new century, but respecting the home’s classic integrity. The herringbone brick floor stands out and will stand the test of time. The paneled hallway has been painted a lacquered white. The study off the living room is a nautical mix — blue bookcases, red ceiling.
In the late 1900s Charles Platt toured Renaissance gardens and villas in Italy, and when you visit 179 Forest Avenue, you’ll see a fine reproduction.
This fall, the Duncans are moving to another old house in Rye. “I had one last project in me,” said Chris. “It’s our hope that the next owners enjoy the tranquility and beauty that come with this home and garden.”
- Robin Jovanovich