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Teacher Retreat

Their very secret spot, high upon a hill



Photographs by Elliott Kaufman, Portrait by Stan Godlewski

A cabin deep in the woods is what one might expect to find at the bottom of the 1,800-foot-long gravel drive that winds through the forested ridge above Cornwall Bridge. This conventional expectation led architect Larry Wente to create a playfully unassuming introduction to Carol and Larry Rand’s Sharon home. The rustic front door, flanked by a traditional red-stained exterior does indeed evoke a cabin in the woods. In the foyer, where red siding is echoed, an impressive native-stone lintel spans nearly eight feet before giving way to the home’s pièce de résistance: panoramic views of the deeply carved and mist-filled valley on either side of the Housatonic River below. 

The Rands admittedly “went looking for a view” upon their retirement from Kent School. While the rocky outcropping at the edge of their property was not the first place the couple explored, what soon became apparent is that they already owned such a view. The Rands had been living at the top of the aforementioned driveway since 1969, in an old fieldstone house, where the elevation was a whopping 1,350 feet above sea level. 

Carol recalls cross-country skiing through their extensive woods, spanning more than 45 acres, in the early mornings. She knew that upon emerging from the tree-lined skid roads, a beautiful vista unfolded encompassing views as far as Goshen and Cornwall. The Rands decided they could clear a wedge of land, retain 40 acres, and build on the very property where they already lived. Thus began a search for the individual who would help them actualize their dream home.

Carol remembers calling Wente, a New York–based architect, and articulating their goal: to build an eco-friendly, elder-friendly house that sits lightly on the land. She asked, “Are you interested?” Wente’s quick reply set the project in motion: “This is exactly what I’m interested in.” What ensued was a project shaped by the central organizing principle of bringing the outdoors inside. Attention to detail reverberates throughout the lofty space and culminates in sweeping perspectives. Nearly every room on the main level enjoys both close and distant views over the valley, a spectacle Larry Rand calls “remarkable for the constantly changing shadows created as the sun moves over the hills in the afternoon.”  

A trinity of features—wood, glass, and stone—unifies the 4,500-square-foot contemporary home that reflects a true collaboration between architect and homeowners. Both the home’s exterior as well as interior walls and ceilings feature Western red cedar, a sustainable and durable wood highly revered for its resistance to rot, decay, and insects. Its qualities of being pitch and resin-free create a canvas of opportunities for color employed most notably in the sunroom, the stairway to the lower level, and throughout the guest quarters.

Stone, featured predominantly in the spaces mirroring the home’s largely glassed-in areas, is indigenous to both Connecticut and upstate New York. One of the couple’s favorite features is the double-sided stone fireplace, anchored between the living and dining rooms, boasting matching hearths. The twin of the stone lintel in the foyer was split in two lengthwise to create this dramatic focal point. The kitchen features Persian-granite counters and the sunroom floor is Connecticut bluestone. A symphony of hues and textures come together for a main level that is elder-friendly and requires no need to navigate stairs.

Wente’s philosophy—to use materials in the building process as they can be purchased—means many of the home’s spaces are based upon the materials’ dimensions in order to incur as little waste as possible. Further eco-friendly choices include a freestanding solar array, consisting of 24 panels, that supplements the Rands’ reliance on the grid. Both high and low windows throughout the home, coupled with ceiling fans, create natural ventilation and eliminate the need for air conditioning. The home’s radiant heat, spread across an impressive 12 zones, is fueled by propane.  

While both Rands emphasize intellectual pursuits in their free time—as reflected in their connections to the Taconic Learning Center, the Sharon Women’s Club, and various volunteer positions on town boards—they enjoy cultivating their property, which has swelled to 70 acres, for gardening, harvesting firewood, and a lawn that includes 3,500 daffodil bulbs.

The Rands’ spacious hideaway is particularly bustling at Thanksgiving and Christmas, when family descends. The guest quarters, built at ground level, offers sweeping views as well. The couple’s three grown children and seven grandchildren enjoy the guest bedrooms, three full baths, and a colorful bunkroom that sleeps four. This, along with the regulation-sized ping-pong room designed by Wente, makes family gatherings relaxing and fun.  

“The final result is very eclectic,” says Larry. Despite extended time in Italy, Spain, Morocco, China, Egypt, Turkey, Peru, and Ecuador, something about the Northwest Corner proves soothing for this couple. The combination of there being no married-couple quarters at Kent School and the Rands’ desire to buy “a little piece of investment property” decades ago has resulted in this sylvan sanctuary. Trading the small, dark rooms of their old stone house for soaring height and a fantastic sense of space has increased the Rands’ quality of life, a lesson worth learning at any age. 

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December 2017

The Smithy Store will host a complimentary coffee and chocolate pairing event on Sunday, December 10 from 2:30 to 4:30 featuring Zero Prophet Coffee and Plum Brook Chocolate. ...

Cost: free

Where:
The Smithy Store
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
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Sponsor: The Smithy Store
Telephone: 860-868-9003
Contact Name: Carol
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The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
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Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

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SHEPAUG TO STAGE THE 1940s RADIO HOUR OPENING NIGHT – FRIDAY DECEMBER 8 WASHINGTON, CT,  November 5, 2017 – Shepaug Dramatics is proud to bring The 1940s Radio Hour to the stage...

Cost: $10 Per Ticket, $5 for Seniors and Veterans

Where:
Shepaug Valley School
159 South Street
Washington, CT  06793
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Sponsor: Shepaug Valley School
Telephone: 203-770-1891
Contact Name: Julie King
Website »

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St. Michael’s Parish will present Candlelight Advent Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 10, beginning at 4pm.   St. Michael's Parish, illuminated by candles, provides a...

Cost: Freewill Offering

Where:
St. Michael's Parish
25 South Street
Just off the Litchfield Green
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: St. Michael's-Litchfield
Telephone: 860-567-4456
Contact Name: Jo Ann Jaacks
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In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

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The Department of Theatre Arts will present "Happy Holiday from Irving Berlin: A Musical Revue" in the MainStage Theatre of the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the WCSU Westside...

Cost: $7-15

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
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The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

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December 1st - December 30th The show opens with a reception on Saturday, December 2nd from 11AM to 4PM.  The Fine Line Art Gallery’s Holiday Art Show 'Miniature...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Fine Line Art Gallery
319 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT  06798
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Sponsor: Fine Line Art Gallery
Telephone: 203-266-0110
Contact Name: Mally DeSomma
Website »

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The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

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Sodexo will host a Hot Chocolate Bar with Toppings from 1 to 4 p.m. in the WCSU Student Center Restaurant on the university's Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Students can use a meal...

Cost: $9.75

Where:
WCSU Midtown Campus
181 White St.
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies at WCSU invites the campus community to join them at a screening of the documentary, "Jane," based on the life of Dr. Jane...

Cost: $5

Where:
Bank Street Theatre
46 Bank St.
New Milford, CT
View map »

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The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

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Sodexo will host a Hot Chocolate Bar with Toppings at The Daily Grind in the WCSU Campus Center on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. The cost is charged a la carte. For...

Cost: A la carte

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The OWL Cookbook Club wants to simplify your holiday baking! Join Audra MacLaren and Patricia Moore as they host the Cookbook Club’s Holiday Cookie Swap Party. Be inspired by one of our...

Cost: FREE and open to the public.

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

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Unplug and spend the afternoon crafting and creating! The Litchfield Historical Society’s Crafternoons will explore a new theme in history with hands-on crafts and games that encourage...

Cost: $7 members; $10 non-members

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06032
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Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

December 1st - December 30th The show opens with a reception on Saturday, December 2nd from 11AM to 4PM.  The Fine Line Art Gallery’s Holiday Art Show 'Miniature...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Fine Line Art Gallery
319 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: Fine Line Art Gallery
Telephone: 203-266-0110
Contact Name: Mally DeSomma
Website »

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Join us the 3rd Friday of each month for a light lunch, music and dancing. Music this month: “Michael Ciulla Music made possible by the NW CT Community Foundation Litchfield Community...

Cost: $7.00 pp

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

December 1st - December 30th The show opens with a reception on Saturday, December 2nd from 11AM to 4PM.  The Fine Line Art Gallery’s Holiday Art Show 'Miniature...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Fine Line Art Gallery
319 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: Fine Line Art Gallery
Telephone: 203-266-0110
Contact Name: Mally DeSomma
Website »

More information

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Paul Winter's Winter Solstice celebrates the spirit of the holidays with the extraordinary acoustic of NY's greatest Cathedral, St. John the Divine. This multi media event features...

Cost: $90.00 pp

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Rd.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Website »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Robert Deyber Master Artist from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Robert Deyber is an American artist...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

WCSU will host a 5 p.m. planetarium show Saturday, Dec. 16, followed by telescope viewing of the sky from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Westside Observatory and Planetarium on the university's...

Cost: Free

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »

More information

In the summer of 1972 Jason rode a motorcycle from Connecticut to California, with stops in most of the Western States. The beauty he experienced on this trip ignited a lifelong passion for...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

As part of the Newtown Savings Bank Fine Arts & Family Series, Ives Concert Park will present the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir at 7 p.m. in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall in the Visual...

Cost: Advance tickets $25, at the door $30

Where:
Veronica Hagman Concert Hall
WCSU Visual & Performing Arts Center
43 Lake Avenue Ext., Danbury, CT 06811
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-8732
Website »

More information

As part of the Newtown Savings Bank Fine Arts & Family Series, Ives Concert Park will present the world-famous Harlem Gospel Choir at 7 p.m. in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall in the...

Cost: $25-30

Where:
WCSU Westside Campus
43 Lake Ave Extension
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »

More information

The Byrde + the b is pleased to announce the opening of Jivan Wolf master jeweler from 4-7 pm on Saturday December 2, 2017 and runs through Jan 31, 2018. Jivan Wolf hand fabricates jewelry...

Cost: Free

Where:
Byrde + the b
10 Titus Road
Washington Depot, CT  06793
View map »


Sponsor: Byrde + the b
Telephone: 212 255 6247
Contact Name: Steven Miller
Website »

More information

December 1st - December 30th The show opens with a reception on Saturday, December 2nd from 11AM to 4PM.  The Fine Line Art Gallery’s Holiday Art Show 'Miniature...

Cost: Admission Free

Where:
Fine Line Art Gallery
319 Main Street South
Woodbury, CT  06798
View map »


Sponsor: Fine Line Art Gallery
Telephone: 203-266-0110
Contact Name: Mally DeSomma
Website »

More information

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