House of the Week: Historic Ossining Victorian Gothic

House of the Week: Ossining Treasure
$1.25 million
Annual property taxes: $35,935
36 S. Highland Ave., Ossining

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The next homeowner who moves into this 1872 Victorian Gothic will not only land an amazing home, but a significant piece of history as well—a history that warrants being a featured site on the Ossining Walking Tours and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the Village of Ossining historic information, the unique 5,000 square-foot 14-room house that was once a hospital and a school in its former life happens to be one of the first house in Westchester built nearly entirely from concrete by workers brought in from England who specialized in this type of construction. Known as the Squire House as a nod to its former owners Dr. Amos Osborne Squire (then chief physician of Sing Sing Prison) and daughter Evelyn Squire Culp, the historic property also became (and remains) a familiar landmark in downtown Ossining. Restored architectural details include its French-style mansard roof, walnut and oak doors and floors, arched windows (some round) and doorways, gabled windows, intricate moldings and gold-inlaid ceiling medallions, and seven gold trimmed fireplaces—each a one-of-a-kind gem of its own. “The property’s concrete construction is very unusual in the northeast,” says listing agent Nancy Kennedy. “The current owner spared no expense restoring the house to its grand self over the past 15 years, leaving all of the home’s original details intact. The rooms are oversized with extremely high ceilings and feature lots of light and extraordinary Hudson River views.” The property’s ideal location on South Highland Ave (Rte 9) within walking distance to downtown restaurants, shops, and train station also means being within earshot of traffic. But, the house has natural built-in buffering, thanks to a sturdy stone wall, circular front drive, and mature trees. For more information, contact Houlihan Lawrence listing agent Nancy Kennedy at (914) 729-4531 or visit

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Furniture Sharehouse Earns Needed Funds
After a relentless effort to win a $25,000 grant as part of the online contest sponsored by L’Oréal Paris in connection with the 2012 Women of Worth Awards, the daily voting has ended. Although Furniture Sharehouse (Westchester’s furniture bank) and its founder Kate Bialo, one of 10 2012 Woman of Worth honorees, didn’t walk away with the top prize, the organization didn’t leave the competition empty-handed. Each honoree’s designated organization received a $10,000 award that Furniture Sharehouse plans to put to good use—helping provide more than 30 families with the basics they need to rebuild their lives with dignity and make a house a home—a bed to sleep on, a dresser to store their belongings and a table for a family dinner. In this case, losing is also winning. For more information about Furniture Sharehouse and making monetary or furniture donations, visit

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Brushing up on Gardening Basics and Beyond
As hard as it is to believe, 2013 is within sight. And that means another spring to look forward to and the gardening that goes with it. Before getting swept away with celebrating the holidays and the approaching new year, you may want to consider signing up for the soup-to-nuts Workshops in Basic Horticulture series sponsored by the Garden Education Center of Greenwich (130 Bible St., Cos Cob, Conn.). The series that runs for seven consecutive Thursdays from Jan. 10-Feb. 28 (no class on Feb. 14) in two-hour sessions (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) promises to cover everything you wanted to know about gardening but were afraid to ask. Using a practical hands-on approach, GEC horticulturist Lisa Beebe will review all facets of gardening and indoor plant care, including soils, fertilizing, insects, propagation, seeds, pruning and design. The course is limited to 12 participants who can count on leaving each session with an abundance of information and the fruits of their labor. Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Lisa directly at (203) 869-9242, ext 303, or go to to register online at $225 per person ($200 course fee, plus $25 for materials).

Master Gardener 2013 Calendar Available for Gifting or Keeping
While you’re thinking of gardening and trying to imagine how you’re going to replace any lost trees and plantings that succumbed to the wrath of Superstorm Sandy, here’s a chance to mine a bounty of great ideas. The Master Gardener of the Cornell Cooperative Extension are issuing their fifth annual garden photo calendar that, in a stroke of serendipity, focuses on small flowering trees of Westchester. It can even do double-duty as a great stocking stuffer! In addition to inspiring you with beautiful options to consider for your landscape, the calendar also offers tips on planting and tree care, selecting the right tree for the right place, and helpful resources. The calendars can be ordered at $13 for one, $25 for two or $36 for three and picked up at the Cornell office (26 Legion Drive, Valhalla) or mailed for an additional fee of $2.50 per calendar (postage costs increase in January). For more information or to place an order, call Patris Beamon at (914) 285-3590 or visit

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Locust Grove Decorated Mansion Tours
There’s still time to step into Locust Grove’s historic mansion (an Italianate villa designed by Alexander Jackson Davis as a summer home for artist and inventor Samuel F.B. Morse)—and back in time—on Saturday, Dec. 22, and the week of after Christmas (Dec. 26-Dec. 31). In the annual showcase at 2683 South Road in Poughkeepsie, Christmas trees in each room seasonally adorned by area florists, pay tribute to passages from the classic Christmas tale, ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. The guided tours include highlights of the unique museum collections and decorations showcased at the villa. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. For more information, call (845) 454-4500 or visit

We welcome information about fascinating homes on the market or real estate/home-related news and events—send to Karen Odom at

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