Best Backyard - 2002
Dr. Richard Patt
Once upon a time, Dr. Richard Patt had a teddy bear in his front yard. It reached 20 feet, give or take, into the sky. His neighbors hated it. But it wasn't enough. The backyard was empty and boring. So he and Joe DiPaulo, the man who designed the park across from St. Joseph Hospital, planned a fantasy theme-park-style spread. Now there's a 40-foot mountain with three straight-from-Maui waterfalls that flood into a pool. Under the mountain is a cave, with a separate spa and another waterfall. Think the grotto at the Playboy Mansion. "It's almost exactly like that," Patt says, "without all the breasts." There's also an open-sesame wall. When he leans against the two-ton stone, the wall swings open to a courtyard and two more rooms. One of those rooms has a murder-mystery bookcase that opens to a spa. There's a waterslide from his upstairs balcony to the pool, an outdoor fireplace and two fire towers that shoot eight-foot flames. He's thinking about opening his yard up for events. We hope he decides to do it.