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Gathering Place

A historic home pulses with all things old, local, and new



Photos by Susan Fisher Photography

Nudged by the impending arrival of daughter Cory, their desire to live in a walkable town, and prior positive experiences remodeling fixer-uppers, Jane and Howard Turner moved to Ridgefield in May 1986, becoming the fourth owners of 50 High Ridge Avenue, also known as the A.L. Benedict House. 

At the time, the 1880 Victorian farmhouse needed serious TLC. Their creative plan of attack: strengthen the original foundation, then carve a modern, circular layout from a traditionally closed-off structure. Thanks to local builders, masons, artisans, and craftsmen, and two-plus decades of renovations, the Turners’ vision lives on.

Jane expressed that the home and High Ridge Avenue have come full circle since A. Barton Hepburn initially relocated the house so that his New York and Boston friends could spread out and build a surrounding compound of culture. One could argue that the home’s new design embodies this full-circle effect—everything is about flow and a forward-looking preservation of history. 

Now, with its understated, quaint farmhouse façade and airy, updated interior, the Turners’ whimsical revamp encourages old and new to cohabitate. Open the turquoise front door and you’re greeted head on by the kitchen area. To the right is the main living space—containing a ground-to-fourth-floor round balcony staircase—where neutral walls, open arches, and original and period-mimicked molding juxtapose the wood furnishings. In the main living room, windowed doors stand tall on either side of the fireplace, framing the backyard like a piece of art. “We kind of saw the outside and inside as a whole. As we were opening up the inside, we were creating spaces outside,” says Jane. 

Both the ground floor and the deck grant access to the backyard where hydrangeas and peonies pocket the lawn among century-old trees. A step above the L-shaped pool is a patio, and across the lawn sits what the Turners affectionately call the Little House: a multipurpose, functional loft space built on the footprint of the original carriage house, its doorway framed by a pergola climbing with trumpet vines.

Throughout the home, contemporary pieces sit beside flea-market finds—like a coffee table from the Paris Flea Market and porch benches from Santa Fe. Each room contains a burst of color: blue on ceilings and floors, orangey hues in pillow stitchings, rugs, and terra-cotta tiles. Precious collectables also have a special place. On spot-lit shelves in the main living room rests Howard’s cross-cultural pottery collection. “I love that some of these really ancient pieces look so contemporary,” says Jane. Such an aesthetic influences the Turners’ consistently eclectic design. 

With its library balcony, exposed beams, and vaulted ceiling, the master bedroom and bath are the most contemporary of the upstairs rooms. The rest of the partitioned bedrooms showcase the original structure in their angled ceilings and slightly slanted wood floors.  

Early on, the Turners’ property functioned not only as a place to live space but as a vital community space. In the late ’90s, their backyard hosted the founding fundraiser for the Ridgefield Playhouse. From their dining room table, a small group of families restarted the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance after Patricia Schuster’s death. That same table also saw the first board meeting for Ridgefield Academy. 

Since living in Ridgefield, Jane has served as president of ROAR (Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue) and of the Ridgefield Playhouse. She is also on the board at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance where husband Howard is the current chair; he is also the founding chair of Ridgefield Academy. “All of these organizations were things we care about. We wanted to see them be what they could be, and then let someone else carry on,” says Jane, who also authored and illustrated a children’s book set in Ridgefield titled The Dog Who We nt to Main Street. Most recently, Jane and daughter Cory co-founded Dogly: a curated website pooling local pooch products from small business. 

Although a need to downsize has prompted the Turners to move away from this beloved house, Howard and Jane plan to remain close, to stay involved in the organizations they’ve nurtured. “I feel about Ridgefield the way I feel about this house,” remarks Jane. “It has a very happy heart.” Howard smiles. “There is a spirit in this town that is a consistent spirit of optimism,” he adds.

The Turner property—currently listed by Laura Freed Ancona of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty—waits for new residents who will make it their own by inviting and entertaining the energy of the vibrant community that surrounds it.

 

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July 2018

Sunday, July 22, 2018 – Green Expo at 12pm – Performance at 2pm People’s United Bank Presents  Shakespeare on the Green & Green Expo: Hamlet A FREE...

Cost: free

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06879
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Games, Crafts, Live Music, Watermelon and fun for the entire family on the library lawn. Sunday, July 22nd from 2:00-4:00 PM No registration, just show up. Sponsored by the Friends of the...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

VIP Ticket Package Available! Adam Ant is a new wave and glam-punk icon, best known for hits “Goody Two Shoes,” “Desperate But Not Serious,” “Stand and...

Cost: $125

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06879
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

In cinemas for a special summer encore presentation, Fathom Events, BY Experience and Pathé Live present Tchaikovsky's transcendent classic Swan Lake, captured live from Moscow....

Cost: $19.08

Where:
AMC Danbury 16
61 Eagle Road
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Fathom Events
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Red Bee Apiary's Talk, Tour & Honey Tastings are an opportunity to visit a working apiary and experience honey at its source. Take a tour of Red Bee's apiary and gardens, once...

Cost: $35

Where:
Red Bee Honey
Weston, CT  06883


Sponsor: Red Bee Honey
Contact Name: Emily Sabo, Events Manager
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Actor Kevin Bacon and brother Michael have been writing, recording and performing together for more than two decades. The duo has released seven albums and earned praise for their gritty, eclectic...

Cost: $67

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06879
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

In celebration of her 30-year recording career, Mary Chapin Carpenter will release Sometimes Just The Sky on March 30 on Lambent Light Records via Thirty Tigers. The...

Cost: $77.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06879
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Throw paint balloons (washable, of course) at a canvas to create an awesome piece of abstract art, and more importantly have a bunch of fun doing it! Thursday, July 26th at 4:00 PM Grades 6-8...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Two-time Grammy Award nominee, and multiple Billboard World Music Award winner, Femi Kuti is back!  The Nigerian musician, and the oldest son of...

Cost: $39.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06879
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

See and Touch exotic animals up close. Plus, learn about endangered species and conservation hands-on! The Nature of Things is an environmental outreach program that presents quality live animal...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Montgomery Gentry will release their final album “Here’s To You” in February, just months after the famed country duo last recorded together.  Montgomery Gentry...

Cost: $77.50 Gold Circle | $67.50 Orchestra | $57.50 Mezzanine & Balcony

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06879
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Golf Performance Center is hosting an Open House to showcase the facility and its programs. Try out our technology, talk with our golf experts, sample refreshments from our Energy Zone, and...

Where:
The Golf Performance Center
824 Ethan Allen Hwy
, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us Saturday, July 28, 2018 for the 7th Annual Westside Reggae Festival presented by Heart and Soul Entertainment. Featured artists include Culture "with the lead vocals of Kenyatta...

Cost: Advanced: $15- $35; At the gate: $25-$45

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave Ext
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Sponsor: Heart and Soul Entertainment
Telephone: 203-470-1141
Contact Name: Terrance Jack
Website »

More information

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Blackmore’s Night seamlessly weaves together elements of modern folk, renaissance and progressive rock music in a style that can only be defined as their own, performing sold-out shows all...

Cost: $52.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 E Ridge Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06879
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Hiking and practicing yoga outside in the fresh air leaves you feeling uplifted, centered, and peaceful! In warm weather months, we meet regularly in various parks and trails. Each event starts...

Cost: Three and Five Class Packages (3 times for $33, 5 times for $42)

Where:
Vary with each class
, CT


Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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