A Grand Old Home Gets a Fine New Polish
When Marta and Stanley Kotyza, Rye residents and custom builders, bought a classic 1904 home from its longtime owners in 2014, they promised to restore, rather than raze, it.
Maintaining the integrity of the house was central to their plan for 95 Central Avenue. However, if the old property has too many structural integrity issues, it may be more ideal to start a knock down rebuild project instead.
“Coming from Prague, we have a different sensibility than many other design/build firms,” offered Marta.
Working with architects Hans Cadek and David Mooney, and design consultant Lucie Ayres of 22 Interiors Design of Los Angeles, the Kotyzas have brought this charming and character-rich home well into the 21st century. The flow between entertaining spaces is seamless, and function doesn’t take a back seat to form. Some of the old moldings are gone and the hardwood floors have been lightened, but the coffered ceilings (to which a ceruse finish has been added) and paneled walls remain, and every fireplace and mantel has been artfully refurbished by Jitka Exler, another talented Czech émigré.
Set on the highest point in Rye, whether you’re sitting on the front or back porch of 95 Central Avenue, you are surrounded by a well-established and lush landscape. It was designed that way by the Olmstead family, owners of the first nursery in Westchester and suppliers of trees for Central Park. Sadie Olmstead was an architect and a relative of Mayor Theodore Fremd, who lived next door. The Olmstead family lived there until 1940.
The second owners were Dr. Harold Adams and his wife Gladys, an opera singer. They lived in the house for 32 years.
Leonard and Betsy Vickers lived there even longer, from 1972 to 2014.
Every owner has appreciated the beautiful vistas and the secluded setting, and it’s easy to imagine that the next owner — the handsomely restored and expanded house went on the market last week — will want to stay and enjoy the grace and quiet for many years to come. Bring the kids: there are eight bedrooms, seven-and-a-half baths, two mud rooms, a balcony off the master bedroom, and play and work space galore.
- Robin Jovanovich
Photos courtesy of Anthony Acocella, Acocella Photography Inc., and Gay Prizio, Director of Luxury Marketing/ Houlihan Lawrence Private Brokerage
The columned and welcoming front entrance
A guest wing and three-car garage were added to the 1904 house.
#5470 The original doors and woodwork in the gracious foyer were carefully restored.
The kitchen work space is white and bright
Waterworks soaking tub in the master bedroom
Newly restored fireplace by Jitka Exler, Exler Studio, Inc.
The backyard is ideal for play and contemplation