By Allison Brophy Champion
Feb 1, 2013
Charming and inviting for all seasons, this 85-year-old Tudor near the water in Riverside harkens to another place and time. On the market for $995,000, the three-bedroom cottage with classic architecture conjures an imagined connection to a wildly popular period program on PBS.
“The best way to describe 128 Riverside Ave. is that it looks like the kind of house that would be a cottage on Downton Abbey’s property,” said listing agent Joanne Edwards with Prudential CT Realty in Greenwich, referring to the Yorkshire family drama set in a castle during the 1910s.
This lovely 1,600-square-foot English home on a corner property in Riverside was built in 1928 and renovated in 2007 to include updates while building on the original character.
The sun-filled property known as “The Old Cottage” is entirely accessible at a reasonable price point, featuring an attractive living room with a generous bay window and a fireplace.
A sitting room/library on the first level provides built-ins for storage and display, a study with custom millwork, and a family room with bookshelves.
Completing the main floor is a cozy kitchen with tiled floor, a powder room and a dining room with French doors opening to a private stone patio and lower-garden terrace.
A master bedroom sits upstairs in addition to a double bedroom, single bedroom and bathroom. An unfinished basement offers a laundry room while the old-fashioned cottage has more storage space in a pull-down attic.
“Just one block from the train station, this is a very special home that will bring considerable joy to its new owners for many years to come,” said Edwards, calling the house, “A true gem in Riverside.”
The residence is also located a short walk from Cos Cob Harbor and less than a mile from the historic 125-year-old Riverside Yacht Club, founded in 1888 by Civil War veteran and businessman George I. Tyson.
The yacht club was the second to be created in all of Connecticut, according to the 2011 book by Karen Jewell, “A History of the Greenwich Waterfront.”
Tyson, “a self-made man,” served as commodore for eight consecutive years at the Riverside club and with his yacht, Nirvana, led the cruising fleet on its annual runs to the eastern end of Long Island Sound, according to riversideyc.org. Tyson got an early start in business as a newspaper delivery boy at age 7 and opened his own newsstand business by age 17, according to Jewell’s book.
The newsstand venture ultimately led to a presence in various high-end hotels in Manhattan before expanding into theater tickets and the creation of his American News Company.
By the time the house at 128 Riverside Ave. was built in 1928, Tyson has long since passed away, though his yachting club stood strong hosting events, regattas and social events well into the roaring ’20s.
The Riverside Yacht Club menu in 1924, reprinted in “A History of the Greenwich Waterfront,” offered tasty-sounding fare like lobster cocktail for 90 cents, chicken gumbo for 30 cents, scallops with bacon for 75 cents or chicken in casserole “ala R.Y.C. for two” for $3.50, the most expensive item on the menu.
The same year this cottage was built nearby on Riverside Avenue, planning had started for a new clubhouse at the yacht club, opening by the following spring just a few months before the onset of the Great Depression. Other notable 1928 events include the debut of the Olympic flame at the games in Amsterdam, the first issue of Time magazine being published, and Amelia Earhart becoming the first female to fly across the Atlantic.
As for listing agent Edwards’ claim that 128 Riverside looks like a cottage that on the “Downton Abbey” property, that level of charm and provenance is present.
Listing agent: Joanne Edwards, Prudential CT Realty, 203-869-0500