“THE PLAYHOUSE” - Historic Ocean Drive Landmark Cottage Sold

Posted by Lisa Babbitt — August 10, 2010



NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (July 30, 2010) – Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty has brokered the sale of “The Playhouse” located at 294 Ocean Avenue in Newport. The historic waterfront property sold today for $2,190,000. “This is an exceptional value for an oceanfront property along Newport’s Gold Coast,” commented Gustave White’s Jay Serzan, agent for the transaction.

The much admired cottage sits on Price’s Neck Cove and “offers magical views of the cove and the rockbound coast,” Serzan said. “I run into people all the time who tell me ‘The Playhouse’ is their favorite house on Ocean Drive.”

“The Playhouse” is the only combination carriage house and boathouse in Newport and was originally part of the adjacent Wildacre Estate built in 1901 for Hartford banker Albert Olmsted. Olmsted was the half brother of Frederick Law Olmsted who designed Central Park in New York City. Serzan said, “The property has the original stone arched carriage way that brought coaches from Ocean Avenue onto the second floor.”

The seller was The Gayle P. Petersen Revocable Trust. Mrs. Petersen’s late husband, Raymond J. Petersen, bought the property in 1990 as a wedding gift for his wife. He was an executive vice president of Hearst Magazines and a longtime trustee of The Hearst Family Trust. Previous owners include former Newport Mayor Fred Alofsin.1281456361

The buyers are David and Joann Vieau, who plan to restore the historic building. They have previously restored two other Newport properties—the Beacon Rock Carriage House, located on Newport Harbor, and Stone Gables Carriage House, located in the Kay/Catherine historic district. (The Beacon Rock Carriage House was the former studio of internationally known sculptor Felix de Weldon who created the Iwo Jima Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.)

Jay Serzan has brokered other neighborhood properties on Ocean Avenue. These include the former Van Alan estate, “Avalon,” that sold for $10.3 million, the record as the highest residential sale on Ocean Avenue according to the Statewide Multiple Listing Service. Serzan currently represents “Cove Haven,” located near “The Playhouse” on Gooseneck Cove and priced at $4,795,000. “Cove Haven” offers dramatic ocean views from its 3.67-acre gated site, which includes a main house, pool house, and guest quarters.

About Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty1281456459

Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty is a full-service agency specializing in luxury real estate and serving all of Rhode Island as well as southeast Connecticut and coastal Massachusetts. Gustave White has been in business for over 78 years as a leader in the luxury market, is the sole Sotheby’s affiliate for Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Regent member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate.

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