Wellington took an unexpected hit from Tropical Storm Isaac, and equestrian estate Two Swans Farm had a unique dilemma during the storm. Thanks to a well-thought-out construction and design, Two Swans’ stables and grounds stayed high and dry. Instead of worrying about horse stables and homestead during the storm, Two Swans owner Carol Cohen had a special concern: a baby swan, now named Isaac, who was born just a day before the storm.
By design, Two Swans was raised well above flood levels, with two ponds adorning the front gate and serving as runoffs for the underground irrigation system. The ponds are also home for the farm’s resident swans.
Two of the farm’s swans, Anthony and Cleopatra, welcomed a new addition — a tiny baby swan born just in time to bear the brunt of Isaac’s heavy rains and winds.
“My biggest concern as the storm approached was the baby swan,” Cohen said. “The parents wouldn’t let me near him!”
While Cohen stood by helplessly, the storm raged on the baby swan and his parents. “Thankfully he fared just fine and is now enjoying the freshly filled ponds,” Cohen said with relief. “This little swan is a symbol of resilience, and we named him after the storm.”
When the farms two ponds filled to the brink, leaving no dry bank for the swans to stand on, little Isaac climbed on his mother’s back while she floated around the pond in the storm. Cohen attributes the farm’s resiliency to the vision and insight that she and her late husband Alan Cohen shared with the team of engineers and architects from 5 Star Builders. The farm was built in 2003, with every detail accounted for. Longtime Florida residents, the Cohens understood the dangers of hurricanes and low-lying land, and designed accordingly. Two Swans was raised well above flood levels, and its two ponds serves as runoffs for the underground irrigation system.
“The elaborate irrigation system, multitude of gutters and structured drainage helped to funnel the water away from the structures so that even when the rest of Wellington was swimming, Two Swans only had full ponds,” Cohen explained. “When I watched the surrounding properties fill with water, I was sure Two Swans would follow suit.”
Cohen recalled that Two Swans sustained little damage and no flooding following the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005.
“My landscaper arrived a few days after Isaac prepared for the worst, as all of the other properties nearby had sustained significant damage, but he was shocked by how spectacularly Two Swans held up,” she said. “I guess our decision to go the extra mile and perfect the irrigation system was the result of our experience during Hurricane Andrew and my paranoia about standing water. Everything on the farm was built with hurricanes or flooding in mind, from the wind load on the roof, impact glass in the living area, and of course our irrigation. I even put in a gasoline tank and 80 KW generator. We are quite self-sufficient when Mother Nature decides to strike, and this round with Isaac made it all worth it!”
Two Swans Farm is currently for sale as Cohen and her daughter Rebecca, an up-and-coming young champion dressage rider, have moved their horses north to enjoy the cooler weather. Cohen was married to the late Alan Cohen, owner of the Boston Celtics, the New Jersey Nets, and chairman of the board of Madison Square Garden, where he ran the New York Knicks and Rangers and started MSG Network. Alan is also in the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, and Carol said sports have always been a big deal in their family.
“Being part of the equestrian scene is in our DNA,” she said. “Immersion in our sport is how I was taught and how we have tried to indoctrinate our daughter Rebecca. Two Swans is the complete package: beautiful, functional, and unique. I have always been very proud of my homes, and Two Swans is no exception. It is a special place, and I am hoping whoever buys it will appreciate it as much as we do.”
Meanwhile, neighbors and horse friends from throughout the horse community are coming over to meet little Isaac and all that he stands for after the storm.
Above: Two Swans Farm’s new baby swan, Isaac, with his parents, Anthony and Cleopatra.