Dacha Sweet Dacha

by Editorial
From the rear flagstone patio, a view of the Chester River beckons through clustered boxwoods.

From the rear flagstone patio, a view of the Chester River beckons through clustered boxwoods.

For more than two decades, the Eastern Shore property served as a dacha for Anatoly Dobrynin who was the Soviet ambassador during the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations until returning to Moscow in 1986. Dobrynin preserved the Flemish-bond red brick and ornate painted ironwork of the Raskob mansion and kept many of the furnishings that came with the house. Fourteen rental cottages, some built in Finland and shipped to the site, were added for embassy staff.

Much of the original flavor of the house remains intact. The formal living and dining rooms flanking the wide center hall still maintain their teak floors, oriental carpets and impressive crystal chandeliers. An archway on one side of the living room leads to the walnut-paneled library where built-in shelves hold many of the ambassador’s favorite books. Off the other side, a glass-enclosed porch overlooks a brick-walled courtyard where a fountain quietly gurgles. A two-story screened porch, set behind the rear colonnade of the house, provides a river view between nearly century-old boxwoods.

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