It’s the kind of place you’d book for your next vacation, if it took reservations. Steps from Bainbridge Island’s sandy Agate Pass shore is a grand and graceful realm that bridges the gap between Northwest resort and Bel Air backyard. Pool, hot tub, boat house and 200 feet of low-bank waterfront make this country club-esque private residence remarkable. But the tennis court makes it unique.
In the midst of this island retreat lies what may be the finest grass court outside of Wimbledon. In the world of tennis, grass courts are known for their elite and specialized form of play. They honor the tradition of “lawn tennis,” the original form of the sport. In addition, a grass court is kind to its players’ bodies. The springiness of the turf reduces the stress of hard hits and quick turns.
Not merely a casual attempt at a classic court, this is a world-class, regulation court designed to Wimbledon standards. The playing surface owes its excellence to painstaking initial preparation and one very special grass, Poa supina.
Resulting in the ultimate court turf for cool season sites, Poa supina is especially bred to tolerate shade, minimal water and low mowing. It’s a subalpine grass that thrives under the punishing conditions of golf courses and athletic fields. Another plus is that Poa supina makes the court available for play from May through October. But why stop there? High-intensity lights extend play around the clock.
As true to its setting as only a heritage home can be, the main house was built as a summer cabin. All deliveries and departures were by boat — due to lack of road back in the day — so the front door was built toward the beach. Nearly a hundred years and three major remodels later, the humble cabin has been transformed into a casually elegant home, with the feel of Hollywood gone to a Puget Sound summer camp.
However, certain original elements remain. The door still faces the water. And the view still takes center stage. Fishing boats, kayaks, pleasure craft and Navy vessels all provide a pleasant picture to add interest to lazy summer afternoons and stormy winter days. As the forces of nature play out on Agate Pass, the thoroughly modern home provides a warm and domestic counterpoint to the activity outside.
The home’s exterior, log-style cladding, reinforces the lodge-like feel. This iconic look extends to a guest house and a pool house that have hosted many pool-side parties. The pool house’s wood-burning rock fireplace is one of seven such grand chimneys that crown the structures, including several in the main house.
A mix of gracious places and cozy spaces make up the interior. Exposed beams, massive stone hearths, wide windows and exquisite appointments create cottage-like comfort. Indulgence abounds, from the French tile of the kitchen to the hand-carved pine cabinetry and paneling of the library. The office is a retreat of built-in cabinetry, a vast raised hearth and windows to three sides. Each of the three main-house bedrooms is served by a private bath. The master bedroom goes an extra step with two bathrooms, one for each occupant.
From the landscaped splash of the Prentiss pond and stream, to a 5,536-square-foot home that can entertain 150 guests — or one very pampered owner — this high-style tennis compound brings the resort lifestyle to a Bainbridge backyard. Quiet and timeless, the property serves up Northwest relaxation with a shot of Hollywood style.