Over two decades ago, Linda and Rod Wilson secured a first-rate property on which to build their home. They bought a vacant lot that had been the first draft pick of one of the founders of the Bearpath Golf and Country Club in Eden Prairie.
When building, they knew they had to take advantage of the great views. After all, there was an abundance of greenery and scenery. The golf course wrapped around the property. Jacques Pond was just beyond their backyard. And the place overlooked the country club.
“The ninth, 10th and 18th greens can be seen from behind, and the 17th can be seen from the front,” said Linda. “We’re sort of tucked away here.”
Design meets function
The Wilson’s enlisted architect Charles Stinson and builder Larry Cramer to create their four-story duplex incorporating glass walls to provide as many views of the water, clubhouse and walkways as possible. A four season cantilever screened porch and adjacent deck just outside the open kitchen and family room also benefited the surroundings.
“We loved Chuck Stinson’s job and he took on the challenge of building us a warm, welcoming and very functional home for a busy family,” said Linda. “He wanted us to feel like we were in nature too. There is natural light in every room.”
High ceilings and hand-laid stone accents were also part of the plan, as were three fireplaces. The house has two offices, one with a walk-out and both with a view of the water and the greenery.
The design also incorporated built-in furniture in the kitchen and dining area as well as bunk beds in the bedrooms (which are easily removable).
One bathroom has steps that retract under the sink, which was handy when Wilson’s two sons were younger. For Linda, the integration of built-in storage options was also important.
“As a mom, I wanted lots and lots of storage so there are hidden storage areas all over the house,” she said.
Time for fun
Beyond functionality, the Wilson’s also wanted a place that nurtured their sense of play and recreation.
At each level, there is a reading corner. The house also has a downstairs entertainment room with a kitchenette. A sports field for activities such as basketball and racquetball has also been set up.
The family is a big, athletic family, and they wanted the house to be a gathering place for sports and entertainment. The house has been the site of many hockey, football, baseball, soccer, ski and golf team parties over the years. During the winters, the pond became an ice rink and a hockey rink.
And, of course, during the warmer months, the place was often the starting point to get to the golf course.
“It’s a great place to raise golfers,” said Linda.
Say his goodbyes
Now, 26 years later, the Wilson’s have listed their 7,700 square foot, five bedroom, four bathroom home on nearly half an acre of land in a gated community.
“The kids have both grown up. It’s time for another family to make memories in this house,” said Linda. “This place has always been a gathering place. I want the next owner to be excited about raising a family here and appreciate all the artistry that goes into it.”
Listing agent Barry Berg said the home, on Avila Cove, sits on a unique property that is particularly suitable for families.
“It’s great because it’s at the end of a cul-de-sac where the kids feel comfortable riding their bikes. Then at the back you have a pond where you can skate in. winter that overlooks the clubhouse, ”said Berg. “It is a very well thought out, warm and family house.
As to the pressing question of whether the location makes it vulnerable to a stray golf ball, the answer is no.
“If it goes anywhere, it goes in the lake,” Linda said. But “that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a group of teenagers throwing golf balls the other way around, hitting from our house trying to reach the 18th green.”
It was surely normal for the course.