INSIDE STORIES BEHIND AREA
REAL ESTATE DEALS (continued)
The Richard Rodgers Estate
Our second celebrity listing in Southport once belonged to Richard Rodgers, half of the Rodgers and Hammerstein team, who wrote the scores to The King and I and South Pacific. Called Rockmeadow, the 21-acre estate is the home Dick and Dorothy Rodgers left when they moved to Easton, into a custom-built, circa-1966 glass-walled contemporary the subject of Mrs. Rodgers' memoir and home-décor guide The House in My Head. That book makes for a rather poor advertisement for Rockmeadow, the source of copious complaints ranging from the "unpleasant damp" of its dressing rooms to the "appalling" amount of care required by its gardens and the fact that its dining room offered no "practical, graceful way to set out buffet service." (If you're wondering what Mrs. Rodgers might have served for those buffets, turn to the back of the book for a collection of odd and slippery-sounding recipes including various aspics and other molded salads, a Sorrel Soup, and Peaches in Red Wine Sauce.)
Hers seem like quibbles on the page and even more so when confronted with the magnificence of modern-day Rockmeadow, which has been renovated and expanded to more than 7,000 square feet of superb living spaces, including seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and a regal-looking library with cherry paneling. Built in 1929 by celebrated local architect Cameron Clark, the spread also offers a Gunite pool and spring-fed pond, a Har-Tru tennis court and a guest cottage with caretaker's quarters and a greenhouse. It's listed with Vera Ruud, along with her partners at WRG Homes, at William Pitt Sotheby's International in Westport. (203) 722-2230.
Dogwood Lane Estate
This home had us at hello: The front door opens onto a soaring-ceiling foyer that features a dramatic curved staircase and gracious reception area with a fireplace. The circa-2004 manse offers 8,500 square feet of luxe living space including seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms (plus two half bathrooms), a 1000-bottle wine cellar and, on the one-acre lot, an Infinity-edged pool. Cathy Blount of the Riverside Realty Group in Westport has the listing. 203-858-8710.