The imposing mansion Rocks Edge
Few stretches of coastline in the country rival the natural beauty of New England. New England with its rock-strewn and shingle beaches and vast shimmering, sun-drenched ocean surrendering to the horizon. Not surprisingly, the area has a storied past. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Boston’s most affluent families oriented north and looked to the shores of Beverly’s “Gold Coast” to build mansions for use as summer homes. Many of those great houses of the Gilded Age no longer exist. Yet one more – Rocks Edge – stands majestically on a rocky ledge in the exclusive enclave known as Pride’s Crossing, overlooking a private beach and Beverly Harbor. After completing a careful, well-researched and masterful transformation, a new owner is ready to write the next chapter in the house’s enduring history.
The history of Rocks Edge
This 17-room, three-story mansion was commissioned in 1911 by Mrs. Marion (Appleton Coolidge) Sargent, a Boston resident of remarkable pedigree and considerable wealth. Mrs. Sargent owned the house until her death in 1924, when it was purchased by the Alger family of Michigan. In 1940, Rocks Edge was taken over by its most famous resident; tennis star Eleanora R. Sears. Her active lifestyle and active social life at Rocks Edge is described by author Peggy Franck in her book “Prides Crossing: The Unbridled Life and Impatient Times of Eleanora Sears.” Eleanora Sears owned the house until her death in 1968. It was then purchased by the current owners.
Back to another era
Built in the Georgian Revival style, the house features 28,000 square feet of beautifully appointed living space. Consisting of 11 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, the house sits on more than three carefully landscaped, park-like acres. True to its architectural style, Rocks Edge (so named because of its location over a rocky shore) is built with classical proportions and on a classical scale, with a beautiful brick facade with limestone decorations and a slate roof. From Paine Avenue, the drive up to the estate is formidable: a drive past a carriage house/concierge house at the gate leads to the grand estate. You truly imagine yourself in another era, but upon entering the home it is clear that all modern amenities have been considered and carefully integrated to preserve the architectural details and elegant features while making this home fully livable and conducive to today’s lifestyle.
Nostalgia and modernity hand in hand
The vision of current owner and designer Linda Zarifi (Zarifi Design) was to completely modernize the house to meet the expectations of the discerning buyer, while maintaining its grandeur and elegance. No expense was spared to achieve the level of luxury that was central to that vision. The nod to old-fashioned craftsmanship is reflected in the intricate forms and custom woodwork, elegant mantels and bleached hardwood floors in a distinctive chevron pattern. By sticking to a neutral color palette of bright and off-white, the ocean – visible from just about every room – became a focal point of the design scheme.
The large-scale foyer sets the tone for luxury throughout, with high ceilings and spectacular and generous rooms. The living room has wall-to-wall windows and French doors that open onto a large veranda overlooking the ocean – ideal for evening cocktail parties and alfresco dining. A formal dining room, music room, playroom and study – with custom shelves and paneling in a rich espresso hue – are gracious rooms, where you could imagine Mrs. Sears used to entertain her elegant circles here. There are 14 fireplaces – all wood-burning – and all are decorated with elaborate marble mantles.
The kitchen of +/- 1500 square meters has two islands topped with fine Italian Carrara marble and is equipped with appliances, amenities and fixtures of the highest quality. The kitchen uses custom paneling and trim, while a separate butler’s pantry provides additional space for storing dishes and dishes. There is a beautiful conservatory with walls of windows overlooking the sea.
One wing of the home houses a garage for 5-7 vehicles and there is another large room on the second floor where the future buyer can realize their dream: perhaps a gym/spa, office, au pair suite or home theater. The master suite on the second floor offers impressive water views. With several dressing rooms and a large marble bathroom, this is a quiet and pleasant space. There are three additional bedrooms on the second floor and seven on the third floor. The natural light and views are simply unsurpassed.
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