The Suburbs: The Beleaguered Castle

The house sits like a jester in a court of sedate plutocrats. Its chimney is rakishly out of plumb. The roof shingles are a motley mismatch. An attached garage is nothing but a skeleton of stone pillars, and the garden is dominated by a magnificent stand of ragweed. The house shows not its facade but its robust posterior to Heathcote Road, one of the best addresses in New York's pleasant suburban town of Scarsdale.

The town, in turn, has shown its fist. Starting back in 1967, the township has served Owner Walter K....