A retaining wall that goes the extra mile

March 9th, 2006 by Peter Schmelzer

-Limestone wall under construction-

Last summer and fall, we had a conversation with our neighbors Paul Seguin and Ann Friedmann. The previous owner of their home had put up an unattractive fence on the property line that neither they nor us liked. There were other issues related to the property line: grade change and its impact on paving their driveway.

So we discussed a range of possibilities. Paul contacted Tom Nelson of Woods’ End Rescue. And Tom came up with the idea of a retaining wall that looked more like a natural feature than a stacked stone wall. We liked the idea, even though it would require putting a bunch of stone well into our property.

Paul and Tom hand-picked the limestone from a local quarry, and Paul hauled it with his boom truck. The first “cornerstone” was huge, and the rest followed closely behind. Many of the neigbors worried that the scale was going to overpower the neighborhood, but Paul and I saw Tom’s vision and new it would work out just fine. Construction took a few weeks, but the wait was well worth it.

In the end, collaboration between neighbors resulted in a design solution that was better than either of us could have mustered on our own. The wall looks great, accomodates ample plantings, incorporates a firepit in the back yards, levels our backyourd, and will allow Paul and Ann ample width to pave their driveway if they desire.

The photos are from last year, but with the snow gone now, it won’t be long before we can post new photos with greenery in place.

Thanks, Paul, Ann, and Tom, for a good collaboration and a beautiful improvement to the neighborhood!

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