For those fortunate enough to live on Depew Avenue—an old country road on the cusp of Douglaston that even GPS can’t find—coming home from work at night is like taking a trip back in time.
And for the Rose Family, who happily called 150 Depew home for over 30 years, getting a chance to own their own little slice of history was the realization of a dream.
"My husband and I originally lived in town, near the Douglaston train station, and would walk down Depew a lot, often stopping at this house [Rose Cottage], imagining one day that we’d own it,” said Joan Rose.
So when an opportunity to buy the Long Island vernacular style farmhouse presented itself, the Roses jumped.
“We’d fallen in love with the place—the garden, the landscape—everything about it was just so unique and wonderful to us,” she said.
The cottage was originally built by in the 1800s, and was eventually sold to a wealthy banker from Manhattan at the turn of the nineteenth century, who had the home physically transplanted several hundred feet back from Depew Ave., toward the back of the lot, which abutted property that had been donated to the Long Island Rail Road. Today, Rose Cottage exists exactly as it did in 1902.
“And when you look at the lay of the land surrounding Rose Cottage, you could tell it was laid out by an adept landscape architect,” said Kevin Wolfe, himself an architect, who helped co-found the Douglaston Little Neck Historical Society.
Pointing to subtleties that an untrained observer would likely overlook, Wolfe walked through the ‘Tao’ of Rose Cottage.
“We see a ‘borrowed landscape,’ a technique of placing the home on a back quarter of the plot, effectively opening up the rest of the property to a garden and on the addition, added to the home in 1902, we see these beautiful bay windows that open up the inside of the home to the garden and this suggests that the person who designed it really knew his architecture,” Wolfe said.
But for Wolfe, what’s even more unique about Rose Cottage is that it exhibits two distinct styles from completely separate eras in American building.
“There’s the original structure built pre-civil war by the oystermen, with a classic, simple, uncomplicated style. Then there’s the addition, built many decades later, which displays Edwardian and Victorian era architecture that would have been very popular around the turn of the nineteenth century,” he said.
Indeed, there are many within the local historic preservation community who look to the understated beauty of Rose Cottage as a celebration of the Douglaston of yore.
“It [Rose Cottage] is a relic of a time long since forgotten and a cherished treasure,” said Bob Coddington, president of the Douglaston Little Neck Historical Society.
Still for the Roses, this now remembered place was simply the house that they called home, until very recently.
“The time had come for us to move on, and though we truly miss our family home, we’ve taken all the fond memories with us,” she said.
Those interested in listing information on Rose Cottage can contact Rod O’Connell at .