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  1. #1
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    Backyard rink built for NW Washington home

    Article about a father building a 30-by-64-foot ice rink in his backyard for his hockey-playing sons, and how it initially caused frictions with some of his neighbors.

    I just think it's cool that his sons can just hop out of bed and right onto the ice ... even if unfortunately it's for hockey I remember when I was skating years ago I would often dreamed of having a ice-rink right in my parents' backyard. I actually tried to build a rink one winter using of a piece of car-covering tarp as the base and using snow to from a barrier holding up the sides of the tarp. Needless to say the attempt failed .

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    I'm jealous. Sounds like they have a bunch of busybody neighbors.

    “Can people do this?” said Jack Lindsay, who owns the house next door. “I’ve never heard of having an ice-skating rink in the back yard of a residential neighborhood. That took everybody aback.”
    Why can't you build an ice rink in the back yard of a residential neighborhood? How is it any different than building a pool? I understand permits, blah blah. But why would a neighbor just assume a rink is something that people can't have if they want it?

    This is also funny:

    Michael Weiss, 25, a Potomac resident who coaches for the Montgomery Youth Hockey Association,
    I'm curious why Ovechkin alone could increase the rate of hockey by 75% in four years?

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    That's so cool, reminiscent of the "Cutting Edge".

    But to this day nobody can top Sonja Henie's own personal ice skating rink constructed on the third floor attic of her Old Hollywood mansion (since owned by actress Connie Stevens, who made it into a roller skating rink for her two little girls back in the 70's). Sonja had it built when she had the mansion constructed to her specifications back in the 30's, her own personal little ice skating rink adorned with drawings of little norwegian children playing about on the walls. She used it right up until her death in 1969.

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    One of the neighbors just three houses down from me installs an ice rink in their backyard every winter. It's tiny, just about 40 ft square, but good for practicing hockey basics.

    I need to get to know them. I would love to practice spins or figures in the mornings.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Long ago I had heard that the parents of Kitty & Peter Carruther had built a backyard skating rink for their kids.

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    ps: Sarah Hughes's dad used to build a tiny ice skating rink for his kids to skate on every winter in their backyard. Seems to be a common theme on here.

    pps: IIRC Johnny Weir started out roller skating in the basement of his parents' house, but when he saw Oksana Baiul skate for the first time at the 1994 Olympics that all changed, and he skated in the frozen over cornfield in the backyard of his parents' house.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    I'm jealous. Sounds like they have a bunch of busybody neighbors.



    Why can't you build an ice rink in the back yard of a residential neighborhood? How is it any different than building a pool? I understand permits, blah blah. But why would a neighbor just assume a rink is something that people can't have if they want it?

    This is also funny:



    I'm curious why Ovechkin alone could increase the rate of hockey by 75% in four years?
    I see a LOT of Ovechkin jerseys on young kids at the rink. I'm not surprised.

    Apparently this guy has done a lot of construction on his house and cut down trees and leveled out the hill in his backyard. The picture I saw was of a heavily wooded neighborhood on a steep hill. People probably prefer a natural look, plus drainage is probably an issue for the people below him. Also the people interviewed in the article had been there a long time and didn't sound as if they were used to a lot of change and commotion, apparently they had protested before about his cutting down 4 trees for the swimming pool.

    I would

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    I learned how to skate on a rink in my backyard before I was old enough to go to school. My Dad built one every year until we were old enough to walk to one of the outdoor Community League rinks. I built a rink or two myself when my kids were little. There are some advantages to living on the Canadian prairies ;-)

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    [QUOTE=WildRose;3768456]I learned how to skate on a rink in my backyard before I was old enough to go to school. My Dad built one every year until we were old enough to walk to one of the outdoor Community League rinks. QUOTE]

    Ditto from a Montreal girl. Learned to skate about the same time I learned to walk.
    Bloom where you're planted. Hillary Clinton

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    My dad built a rink each winter with plastic on the ground fenced off by 2 x 4's. He would use the snow blower on it when it snowed. I'd guess it was something like 15 or 20 feet long and about 1/2 as wide. I wish I'd watched more figure skating back then when I was still young enough to really catch the bug to take lessons. The only figure skater I knew of then was Peggy Fleming, and I certainly admired her. I wasn't an athletic kid, though, and that and other circumstances kept my parents from asking me if I wanted to take lessons. I was a good ice skater, just not a figure skater.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NadineWhite View Post
    That's so cool, reminiscent of the "Cutting Edge".

    But to this day nobody can top Sonja Henie's own personal ice skating rink constructed on the third floor attic of her Old Hollywood mansion (since owned by actress Connie Stevens, who made it into a roller skating rink for her two little girls back in the 70's). Sonja had it built when she had the mansion constructed to her specifications back in the 30's, her own personal little ice skating rink adorned with drawings of little norwegian children playing about on the walls. She used it right up until her death in 1969.

    OH!!! Thank you so much for sharing this story! It's a bit off-topic, but several months ago I was watching one of those haunted house shows, but I can't remember the name or what channel. They interviewed someone who currently owned a house and it had a roller skating rink in the attic and children's paintings on the walls. I don't remember hearing anything about Sonja Henie (I could be wrong) but this sounds like the story I saw. I was hoping to read more about the house but didn't remember any other details. So this could be the one.

    I just googled it and found out enough information to satisfy some of my curiosity. I didn't see any pictures though.
    Last edited by leafygreens; 12-13-2012 at 02:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    OH!!! Thank you so much for sharing this story! It's a bit off-topic, but several months ago I was watching one of those haunted house shows, but I can't remember the name or what channel. They interviewed someone who currently owned a house and it had a roller skating rink in the attic and children's paintings on the walls. I don't remember hearing anything about Sonja Henie (I could be wrong) but this sounds like the story I saw. I was hoping to read more about the house but didn't remember any other details. So this could be the one.

    I just googled it and found out enough information to satisfy some of my curiosity. I didn't see any pictures though.
    That house is currently on sale: http://www.trulia.com/property/31035...geles-CA-90077

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    Quote Originally Posted by sap5 View Post
    I recognize the address. It is in Bel-Air, on the border with Beverly Hills. This is a very exclusive area about two miles from UCLA. The Bloomingdales (who founded the dept store) also used to live on Delfern Dr., and many other celebrities like Walt Disney lived nearby. Sonja Henie was known for her lavish excesses and this mansion is no exception.

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    I always wished I could have an ice rink at my house. Even if it's tiny.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  15. #15
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    It would be feasible to have a plastic rink just about anywhere, in any room or basement. Real ice would be a tremendous upkeep because of the pipes and electric bills. You wouldn't necessarily need a zamboni. Since home rinks are so small you can resurface them manually. Nice Rink even sells a manual resurfacer for their rinks.

    About Sonja's house, I saw online the episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories where Connie Stevens talks about the house. However, this is not the show I saw. It was another type of ghost show and they showed the round roller rink and wall paintings in great detail. If anybody can figure out what show this was, it would be greatly appreciated!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sap5 View Post
    Wow . . . $80,000 per month!
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Oh wow it's for sale!

    Kinda sad though because besides the original owner, Sonja, only Connie Stevens has lived in it as well. But she's getting up there in years, 74, and her two girls have long since grown & fled the coop ages ago, so it makes sense to sell it, but alas I was hoping she would live in it till the bitter end. I guess she got tired of leasing it to others. In a way this reminds me of author Anne Rice, whom after many years sold her historic mansion down South and also her much loved doll collection; she's downsized so much I think now she's living in a condo?

    Anyhow, back to Sonja, here's my original post about it 2 years ago: http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...-Ghost-Stories

    There's tons of articles out there about Sonja's manse and the secret skating rink she had built on the third floor attic, but I have yet to see any pics. I guess she wanted to keep it a secret and she sure did. But one thing's for sure, one has to be very wealthy to maintain an ice rink *inside* one's house y-e-a-r round. Lol I remember Connie saying how she found all this ice making equipment up there as well, and my first thought was how did she do it without the floor caving in! But then, duh, Paul Williams was the one that designed the house and his Old Hollywood Mansions are legendary. Kinda like that movie "Sunset Boulevard"...

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    Sonja was extremely wealthy; and had no one on whom to spend her money
    After her death, she left her art collection to, and endowed a museum in, her native Norway.
    As I understand it, TPTB there were less than thrilled.

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    I had to laugh at this line from the article

    The investigator then stuck a large orange “stop work” order on the front door. (The family later covered it with a wreath trimmed in pomegranates.)
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    When it comes to getting your ice time, sometimes you just have to thumb your nose at the naysayers. Much like Coach Marla (who kicked the hockey team off the rink for her 8 year old student).

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