On prestigious Quimby Lane, right on Sagg Pond and next door to that nice Mr. Waters, is a pretty house built in 1917. It belongs to ballerina Sono Osato, who’s now 98 years old. Her son told the Wall Street Journal that they’re selling because his mother doesn’t use the place enough. The asking price for the property, repped by Deborah Srb at Sotheby’s, is $37 million.
Sono Osato is the daughter of a Japanese father and an Irish-French Canadian mother. “Sono” means garden. Her parents were the caretakers of the Chicago Phoenix Pavilion and its Japanese garden, both of which had been built for World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, from 1935 to 1941. Her father, being Japanese, was not allowed to travel farther west than Chicago during the Japanese internment.
Ms. Osato became the first American dancer in the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, an offshoot of the Ballets Russes that began after the death of Serge Diaghilev. We know we’re slightly off the subject here, but if you don’t know about the Ballets Russes, do look it up—it was enormously influential in almost every artistic discipline a hundred years ago.
Getting back to Sagg Pond, we really hope that the new owners don’t tear this house down. Niko Elmaleh, son of Sono Osato, told the WSJ, “The whole joy of living there is feeling like you’re not in 2018. There’s a sense of tradition about it.” We can see that, from the adorable butler’s pantry to the linen storage upstairs. There have been only two owners in the property’s history.
There are almost four acres of land with 300 feet of frontage on Sagg Pond, including a sandy beach, a tennis court and a pool. The house obviously needs work; it was last updated in the 1970s so probably includes a dire kitchen and bathrooms, but the rest of it looks charming. Unfortunately, the five bedrooms are fairly small, although each has a fireplace, which might doom the house to the bulldozer. There are five full bathrooms and three half-baths, along with 7,200 square feet of space.