The Architect of New York’s Central Park Designed the Gardens of This 140-Year-Old Boston-Area Home


A Weston, Massachusetts, mansion with gardens by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York’s iconic Central Park, hit the market Tuesday for $7.75 million. 

Known as Ridgehurst, the roughly 12,000-square-foot, shingle-style home is about 16 miles west of Boston, according to the listing with Emily Farer and Manny Sarkis of The Sarkis Team at Douglas Elliman.

The Ridgehurst Estate “was designed by prominent architect Francis Chandler,” according to Mr. Sarkis. “Masterfully renovated in 2016, the home is privately sited on over 4 acres and offers a rare opportunity to own a piece of history.”

For the last decade, the home has been owned by the Walker family, who purchased it for $2.65 million in 2013. Antonella Walker is now selling the home after the death of her husband—David Walker, president and owner of well-known Boston-based jeweler Shreve, Crump & Low—in October 2021. 

Because of its “private and bucolic setting,” the house is “akin to a rural country estate, while geographically situated 15 minutes by car from downtown Boston,” Ms. Walker said in an email. 

And then there are the gardens. The landscape created by Olmsted—known for his designs of Central and Prospect parks in New York—was a “key consideration in our family’s original acquisition of Ridgehurst,” according to Ms. Walker. 

“The Olmsted gardens conjure a magical element to expansive grounds of the property, linking both the past and present,” she continued. “It has brought my family and me much joy in restoring and respecting the original Olmsted design. A walk through these sacred gardens at virtually any time of the year brings a special moment of peace and sense of rejuvenating calm.”

The home features four floors of interior living space, with seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, the listing said. There are also 11 fireplaces, plus crown moldings, custom millwork and classically proportioned rooms.

On the main level, there’s a grand foyer, with formal living spaces including living and dining rooms and a library, according to the floor plan. There’s also an open family room and kitchen, which has a breakfast nook and butler’s pantry. 

Upstairs, the primary suite is on the second level and boasts a sitting room, a bathroom and a bedroom-sized walk-in closet. There are two other bedrooms on the floor, as well as a cedar closet. The remaining bedrooms are on the third floor. 

The lower level is for entertainment with a wine room, wet bar and game and media rooms. There’s also a gym and storage. 

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