"We built a home my husband and I, not to be old or new, just to be beautiful. And we built it for music."
- Lucie Rosen
Last Sunday the anesthetist was playing on his boat. I couldn't join him for fear of falling overboard and sinking straight to the bottom of the Long Island Sound due to my boot being as heavy as an anchor. So I threw caution to the wind and "stole" his car to drive further north to visit Caramoor, a lovely house & garden designed for the sole purpose of music and the arts.
Caramoor is the legacy of Lucie and Walter Rosen, a well-traveled and clearly well-heeled couple who purchased the property of more than 100 acres in 1928. They were both passionate collectors and musicians. They built the rambling stucco mansion that exists today, fulfilling their dream to create a place where they could entertain friends from around the world and host legendary musical evenings. In 1945, they bequeathed the estate as a centre for music and art and it is now the home of the hugely successful annual Caramoor summer outdoor concerts, featuring artists performing jazz, operetta and classical music.
What is most remarkable are the surrounding gardens. They're magical. They have evolved over the past 80 odd years and include sunken gardens, a cedar walk, a rose garden, a sense circle for the visually and physically impaired, and general rolling lawns dotted with picnic tables for the festival guests to enjoy.
It's a garden lover's paradise and a place where you would expect to see wood nymphs and sprites dancing amongst the trees. It's a far cry from the concrete of Manhattan.
300' cedars now 70 years old
Juliet Gate, a 17th C portal opening into the Sunken Garden