Daily Archives: October 1, 2005

Stamford Value

Sharon Fogarty (Wm. Raveis) has just listed 378 Taconic Road for sale. It’s an amazing house, built in 1929 and completed renovated and redesigned (by Laurie Jones, AIA) inside less than ten years ago. Absolutely beautiful, with four acres of rolling lawn and pool. Eleven thousand square feet (presumably including the finished, walk-out basement and guest house), and a Greenwich address. If it were across the street, in Greenwich, this house would easily command a price between $6,500,000 and $7,000,000. Sharon has priced it at $4,550,000. If (a) your kids are in private school or (b) your children have grown, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t buy this house and pocket the difference. And for those of you who grumble about Greenwich property taxes being spent on our schools, here’s a vivid example of the value your taxes bring. Real estate value; I’m not at all sure we’re getting the full educational benefit of tax dollars, as evidenced below.

I heard a wonderful story from a mother of a Country Day student that the school’s dress code required dress shirts from Ralph Lauren of Vineyard Fashions. Sadly, when I checked it out, it turns out to be a false claim made by a young girl seeking high fashion. Too bad; some stories, indeed, are too good to be true.

Here Are Some I Hope Are True

Supposedly, after over a year of promising the students of Old Greenwich School that the front steps would be finished, respectively, by Halloween, Christmas and Easter of last year, the administrators corrected the problem (a quarter-inch discrepancy on treads, I believe) over the summer. So now they’re open but only to fifth graders. Class warfare looms.

Also at Old Greenwich School, I’m told that the children are forbidden to play on the grass because they might trample the roots of trees and kill them. Gee, those trees have survived seventy-five years of such trampling, so what gives now?

And the best story from that school is that of the kindergartner who was told she couldn’t count by tens because that wasn’t on the curriculum until November. I suppose her teacher needed time to brush up on the subject herself.

Doings at Raveis

Gene Ruggerrio has a new listing but doesn’t want me to write about it until I learn how to spell her name.

73 Glenville Road
Jack Marker, on the other hand, probably doesn’t care how I spell his name as long as I say nice things about this house. Which I will. The house sits on an acre of land and has benefited from thirty-years worth of gardening: there are cutting beds, raised vegetable beds and lots of perennials and ground plantings. Inside is just as nice: totally renovated and expanded (4,000 sq.ft., four bedrooms, eat-in kitchen. etc.). It’s priced at just $2,295,000, making it a real bargain, in my opinion.

Staging Your Home?
Saw a very nice house last week up at 944 Lake Avenue.Built by Coggins in 1957 and recently renovated, it’s a modestly-sized (3,720 sq.ft, 5 bedrooms) antique-looking Colonial that seems very comfortable. Most impressive, to me, are the six-acres of grounds, with very old stonewalls and meadows. Great spot for horses. All that said, I was genuinely impressed by the staged apple trees – someone has taken the trouble to affix bright red fake apples to the branches. They certainly outshine their more natural cousins on the same branches but I suspect that, with some judicious attention, you could grow some nice fruit here. $4,500,000, Debbie Hufford, listing agent.

Nanny Dungeons

I am disturbed at the living conditions provided nannies in some of the houses I view. People who can obviously afford better create “nanny rooms” in the basement; airless little cubicles with room for a cot and not much else. If your conscience isn’t bothered by cramming another human being into such a space I’m sure it won’t be troubled that you’re violating the fire code nor, for that matter, will it be stirred if the poor girl is trapped in a fire. But perhaps your wallet might twitch a bit at the prospect of a whopping wrongful death suit – you might have to postpone your next vacation to Montana!

Good Night, Ladies
Hooker Lane is on its way out, to be replaced by “Stonebrook Lane”. I once suggested in this column that the street’s residents just rename it General Hooker Lane, but I suppose this will do. The camp followers of Fighting Joe Hooker, by the way, were not the inspiration for the term, which was used at least fifteen years before the Civil War, but the General’s licentious habits were so brazen that they popularized the meaning, all to the modern-day-residents’ of Hooker Lanes distress.

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