The composer’s studio has been saved for posterity, but the house itself? We have an exclusive on-site report from Gaffney Feskoe:
I thought that I would provide your readers with an update on what is happening to the Charles Ives house in West Redding, CT.
As I live about 20 miles from West Redding, I took a drive over there yesterday to see for myself what is happening to the property and I was able to have an on site inspection thanks to some very nice and knowledgable construction guys, the foreman of whom knew quite a bit about Charles Ives and his importance.
In any case, the good news is that the house is not being demolished or altered much on the outside. The entire 18 acre property has been sold to a private individual who is extensively rehabilitating and updating the interior. Consequently, much of the interior has been gutted, but the original fireplaces, floorboards and windows will remain.
The two outbuildings on the property, to include the old red barn and what I would take as a studio building and a tennis court all remain
The property setting on the 18 acres of lawns, forest and distant hill views will be preserved.
So from a drive-by perspective, the property will largely appear as Ives left it.
I may also add that the setting is a rural and affluent section of affluent Fairfield County CT.
Contrary to earlier reports, the neighboring homes are not McMansions but are elegant homes, many dating to the 18th Century situated on
large land acreage of at least 5 plus acres apiece.
In sum, West Redding is an extremely attractive and prosperous rural town in Connecticut. Ives knew the place well as he was born in Danbury, CT, an almost neighboring town. Some of the old timers in West Redding remember Ives walking from his property to the train
station about a mile away to commute to New York.